'Corruption' Tag Archive

Nov 03 2008
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Iceland Sinks


Haukur Már Helgason, Il Manifesto (Italian daily) – Last April, the government published a report about “Iceland’s image”, written by a committee of leading business people in Iceland. The report summarizes Iceland’s history thus: “For a long time, the nation lived through hardships, but once it achieved freedom and independence it took a leap from being a developing country to becoming one of the richest nations in the world, in less than a century.”

This October, the only growing business sector in Iceland is body guards. It’s booming. For the first time in Iceland’s history, the heads of state, politicians and stock exchange „entrepreneurs“ are surrounded by professional muscle-men. After six to ten years of private ownership, and constant staggering growth, all three major banks in Iceland collapsed in a week, unable to pay their debts. Economically they had become 10 times bigger than Iceland itself. The state, led by the Central bank re-nationalized all three of them, one by one. Read More

Nov 01 2008

Protests in Guinea – Direct Action Stops Bauxite Transport


In Guinea, West Africa, people have stopped trains from Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee (CBG) that move bauxite from mines to the harbors. Bauxite is the major raw material for aluminium production and Guinea is the world’s biggest bauxite exporter. The protests started yesterday morning, October 31st and have been increasing since than.
Protesters have been seeking out officialdom´s houses, robbed them and put fire to many houses. At least one woman died during riots that resulted from the actions. Today, the protesters have managed to stop many  trains interrupting the transport of bauxite, which is the country’s biggest export product. Read More

Oct 19 2008
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Economic Crisis In Iceland – An Overview


For the last two weeks Iceland has been facing economic crisis, the worst since 1914. The Icelandic Króna (ISK) has fallen lower than ever and the whole economy seems to be close to a total collapse. How did this start and how does it look now?

The collapse of Iceland’s bank system

The morning of September 29th was the beginning of the crisis for the Icelandic public, when it was announced that the State and Glitnir, one of the tree big banks of Iceland, had come to an agreement that the State would buy 75% share in the bank. Signs of economic crisis have been visible for quite a long time in Iceland; economics and leftists have been warning the Government, but until September 29th, the Government and the Banks have repeatedly ignored these warnings and stated that everything is fine. According to Iceland Review “the state is not planning to be a majority owner in Glitnir long-term; the purpose with these actions is to secure economic stability.” At this time Glitnir had lost c.a. 85% of its share value when the stock market closed Friday September 26th.

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Sep 17 2008

Norway Sells Shares of ‘Unethical’ Rio Tinto


Grasberg Mine in West PapuaSurvival International – The Norwegian government has sold its shares in British company Rio Tinto, whose Grasberg mine in West Papua, Indonesia, has devastated the land of the Amungme and Kamoro tribes. Norway sold its almost £500 million shares in Rio Tinto following recommendations from its Council on Ethics to exclude the company from its government pension fund. The Council made its recommendation due to ‘a risk of contributing to severe environmental damage’ through Rio Tinto’s participation in the Grasberg copper and gold mine. Read More

Aug 30 2008

Letter about Crazy Horse to Saving Iceland


From Reverend Billy

A year ago we were with you in Iceland, the land of fire and ice and spirits and charms! This year we get news and images on the computers. Congratulations on the Century Aluminum Smelter blockade. You slowed down the output from that day, July 21, 2008. You’re saving lives! Every hour that an F-16 is not yet in the air…

Wandering your website, I remember my sermon last year. I tried to conjure the memory of Crazy Horse and bring his spirit to your struggle for Iceland. Savitri remembers the recurring phrase, “The land is innocent and powerful.” I don’t remember much of the specifics of my talk that afternoon, which was itself an on-the-spot remembering. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the river valley in our windows and simultaneously my boyhood love of the stories of Crazy Horse, from when my family lived in the Dakotas.

And so if you will read this letter, and help us bring back that day in the hotel conference room in Olfus… Writing is an act of memory and by writing this letter to you today — maybe some of your year-ago campaign, and our sermon within it, will resurface in these pages. Read More

Aug 01 2008
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Saving Iceland Blockades Rio Tinto-Alcan’s Smelter in Iceland


,,Stop the destruction of Þjórsá for arms production!”

HAFNARFJORDUR, ICELAND – Activists from Saving Iceland have today begun stopping traffic to and from Rio Tinto-Alcan’s aluminium smelter in Straumsvík, Hafnarfjordur, by chaining themselves to the gates of the plant. Saving Iceland is protesting against Rio Tinto-Alcan’s plans to increase their aluminium production capacity on the island, the consequences of which would would be that significant parts of Iceland’s unique environment would have to be destroyed for energy generation. The activists are also protesting against the worlds largest aluminium producer’s involvement with the arms industry.
Rio Tinto-Alcan wants to increase its production in Straumsvík by 40 thousand tons per year without enlarging the smelter building itself. At the same time the company is planning to build a second aluminium smelter in the towns of Keilisnes or Þorlákshöfn (1).
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Jul 25 2008
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Saving Iceland Invades Landsvirkjun for Alcoa’s Severe Human Rights Abuses


PROTESTS AGAINST LANDSVIRKJUN’S PLANNED DAMS IN ÞJÓRSÁ RIVER AND THE CONNECTION BETWEEN LANDSVIRKJUN AND ALCOA

REYKJAVÍK  – Today 30 activists from the international campaign Saving Iceland have invaded the Landsvirkjun (national power company) building (Háaleitisbraut 68) to disrupt work. Earlier this morning Saving Iceland activists dammed the house of Landsvirkjun director Friðrik Sophusson and nailed an eviction notice to his door.

“We oppose Landsvirkjun’s intentions to build the four Þjórsá and Tungnaá dams for Rio Tinto at Straumsvik (1,2), despite the referendum. They are also negotiating to dam Skjálfandafljót and Jökuslá á Fjöllum for ALCOA’s planned Bakki smelter (3,4). This is on top of the mess they are making of Þeistareykir (5) and the deep drilling into Mount Krafla, right next to the tourist attraction. LV are doing this for a company that is a self-admitted arms dealer (6) and has been in the news again and again for it’s gross abuse of human rights. (7) This company should not be welcomed by Landsvirkjun,” says Jaap Krater from Saving Iceland.

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Jun 29 2008

Húsavík Contract Signed Behind Closed Doors


Today, Alcoa, the Ministry of Industry and Norðurþing district council signed a research contract for Alcoa’s planned aluminium smelter in Húsavík (Bakki), north Iceland. The contract allows for the furthering of research into the efficiency of the smelter construction and into the energy production capability of the geothermal areas in the north. The smelter is supposed to be run on geothermal energy only. Read More

Jun 29 2008

Þjórsá Dams Just Around the Corner – RT-Alcan Among Energy Buyers


Last Monday, June 23rd, the district council of Skeiða- and Gnúperjahreppur agreed on a major change in the district plan. The change includes implementing the construction of two of the three dams Landsvirkjun (national energy company) plans to build in the lower Þjórsá River; Holtavirkjun and Hvammsvirkjun. The plan is now being reviewed by the National Planning Agency. The decision to build these dams was taken despite a huge local opposition in the area. Right now one of the landowners is taking the Icelandic state to court, accused of bypassing laws on local democratic agreement to these projects. According Sól á Suðurlandi (a grassroots organization fighting against the dams) more landowners might follow this figurehead.

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Jun 06 2008

Century’s Lack of Permission Party Crashed


Century Aluminum had hoped to hold the traditional ceremony of digging the first spade of earth for their new smelter in Helguvik in a celebrity manner. But neither environmental protesters nor even the Icelandic corporate media were about to let that happen.
A group of people came to the ceremony to protest against how destructive the new Century smelter would be towards the ecological, social and economic life in the south-west of Iceland.They all refused to protest in the ‘designated protest area’ provided by the police, which was out of sight and sound from the ceremony itself. Instead they got much closer to the ceremony before being stopped, one person carrying a green and black flag being held by two undercover police. Some carried a coffin, which read ‘Reykjanes’ and gravestones which read “Innovation – died 6.6.08.”

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