'Kárahnjúkar' Tag Archive
The campaign against heavy industry is making progress and it seems that there are more and more Icelanders who are no longer willing to stand by and watch as Iceland is turned into an industrial wasteland (like much of Europe already is). Some of us will soon go back to the 18 different countries which we came from; countries where industrialisation has left us with pollution, illness and disease. We must cross borders to support each other, as these corporations see borders only in terms of how they can be used to divide people. Meanwhile they take our land and profit from our work.
Most importantly, we hope that we have inspired and encouraged others to take action against the destruction of nature in whatever way they are able. People have to realise the importance and fragility of the wilderness before it is (soon) too late. There is no infinite wilderness to be exploited, nor is there infinite time to wait around for a miracle to help us.
We have enjoyed an immense level of support and co-operation from a wide range of people in Iceland. Thank-you to all of the amazing people who have helped so far in the struggle against this horrific destruction of nature which only benefits the rich executives of multinational corporations.
11 August 2006
The protest camp has relocated to the farm Kollaleira, in Reyðarfjörður. This is the fjord where war profiters Bechtel are building the ALCOA aluminimum smelter.
To join us see the ‘Join the fight’ section for updated info and contact number.
THE FIGHT AGAINST THE DESTROYERS OF NATURE GOES ON!!!
The Icelandic police is currently under fire for alleged harsh treatment of protesters near the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam project in eastern Iceland. Protests have been ongoing since early July and have for the most part been peaceful. Since the beginning of August, reports have surfaced of more severe actions than before on the parts of protesters, including blocking routes for the movement of heavy machinery. Protestors claim that police have responded with unwarranted harshness. Last weekend the group, which counts some 50 individuals of all nationalities, was broken up by police and protestors made to leave the site where they had set up camp.
Meanwhile, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÚV) showed footage on yesterday evening’s national news, where the Head of Police in Egilsstadir, east Iceland, shoves a cameraman who was filming protesters and police on police premises in Egilsstadir. The police officer later admitted to having been out of line. The same news hour showed an interview with Álfheidur Ingadóttir, who sits on the board of the National Power Company (Landsvirkjun), in which she voiced her anger at having been kept under surveillance by police authorities while hiking through the Kárahnjúkar area recently. The area, which is set to go under water this September when a reservoir is created to feed the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam, has been visited by a vast number of tourists this summer. Read More
As usual Reykjavik Grapevine has regrettable problems with getting some of their facts right, but still worth a read.[Ed.]
A series of dubious tactics by law enforcement officials in the area around the Kárahnjukar dam protests have left protestors and conservationists throughout Iceland screaming “foul”. Read More
The legality of the arrest is contestable in its legality as there appears to be no documents to prove that the land is not public access. The activists, once detained were not allowed to make phone calls in the manner outlined in Icelandic law, but were allowed food to be brought to their cells (unlike on the main protest site where the police are trying to starve out campaigners).
All of the activists have since been released with no charges as it seems unlikely that they were breaking the law. Clearly the police and landsvirkjun are uncomfortable with campaigners close proximity to the dam.
Activists moved the main site of the protest camp to Lindur on Tuesday 1st August. The police attempted to intimidate activists against the dam, by creating an eviction time of 12 noon the following day. They would not state where the current site was, preventing the group from moving to the adjacent area of land as is legal under icelandic law. Campaigners thereby moved to an area where they thought they would be legally allowed to stay. The police then used tactics of intimidation to try to stop the camp, which is clearly being an effective form of protest in itself, otherwise the police and companies related to the dam would have no problem with the campers. Dam companies caused the owner of the hut at Lindur to burn it to the ground, obviously they are trying to make protestor uncomfortable, but we remain resolved to fight heavy industry. Police have created various road blocks and have told the site kitchen that they are trying to starve campaigners, by not letting the kitchen on to site.
On the first morning of the camp being in the dam affected area the police carried out a drugs raid on the camp. They hasseled activists who were trying to explain their rights to house peace, which means icelandic police need a warrant to enter a dwelling, including a tent. This like many other laws was ignored. The police entered a number of tents, damaging two of them. The drugs dog paid no attention to the tents chosen. One activist was taken away and searched but released as he, like all of the other anti-dam campaigners, had no drugs or ilegal substances on him. Police lied to the media claiming that drugs were found, the media have now listened to activists explaining what really happened, but initially were unconvinved that the police would lie to them!
Icelanders are encouraged to visit the site. If a road block is in place the walk is only 30 mins and amongst the amazing scenery due to be flooded. Food and vehicles/lifts are always appriciated
26 July 2006
A bridge was blocked at Kárahnjúkar by ten people at the same time that over forty people blocked a crossroads by the worksite at the dams that are being built at Eyjabakkar. Both blockades were successful and although police arrived with riotshields there was no violence or arrests.
Apparently the police bragged about some contraption they have recently aquired which has hooks to drag away protestors which have locked on to each other. A policeman said it might “scratch a few arses”. SI ask if the Icelandic police realise that if they are going to subject protestors yet again to their reckless stupidity and inexperience they may cause serious physical harm to people. If a number of people who have locked on to each other in armtubes are to be “dragged” away it it will very likely result in a number of broken arms and other serious injuries. We demand that this be looked into by responsible people.
The protestors issued a statement were they point out that although most people think that the wetlands of Eyjabakkar were saved from destruction by publick outcry and a pedition which collected 45.000 signatures in the year of 2000 there are at least four dams being built at Eyjabkkar as part of the Kárahnjúkar project. This will cause great damage to the Eyjabakkar area and threaten them further as ALCOA is likely to demand a future expansion of their factory in Reydarfjördur. In addition these dams at Eyjabakkar will destroy a procession of unique and much loved waterfalls.
According to the planning permission the main dam at Eyjbakkar is supposed to be 32m high. The dam is in fact being raised by 5 metres!
The central dam at Kárahnjúkar has also been sneakily raised by 10 metres. Both additions are illegal and will add to the devastation of the nature of the Eastern highlands.