'Laws' Tag Archive

Feb 24 2011

The Reykjavik 9 and a New Era in the Struggle Against Repression


By Tord Björk

The Social Forum Journey

Is there a possibility that we can see a new era in the struggle against repression? While repression according to many reports are growing in Europe and the world with widening social gaps there are also some changes in the way repression is organized and counteracted. Rightly addressed the situation gives new possibilities for solidarity and uniting movements that hitherto were kept separate thus building a base for democratizing society. Read More

Aug 08 2009

The Police Roughs Up a Protester – The Media Helps Sustaining the Smear


Police Brutality Yesterday, Friday August 7th, Saving Iceland protested by the Ministry of Industry. At the same time inside the building, a financial contract was signed between the government and Norðurál/Century Aluminum, concerning the latter’s smelter in Helguvík. When the protest was about to end, the police showed up, arrested 5 individuals and aggressively roughed up one of them. Most of the media has spoken about the event but not mentioned the police brutality at all. Instead, the media has unsparingly published the police’s smear about us: that a policeman was kicked in the head and that we threatened the police with iron sticks, without any evidence showing that anything like this ever took place. Saving Iceland rejects these accusations and renounces the media’s one-sided reports.

The contract that was signed today includes state support for the aluminium smelters in the form of a tax discount that amounts to 16,2 million US dollars – two billion Icelandic krónur – and gives Norðurál/Century exemptions from paying industry fees, market fees and electricity safety fees. Special rules will also apply concerning stamp duty and planning fees, and about new taxes. The emission permits that are now valid permit a 150 thousand ton smelter in Helguvík; the Environmental Impact Assessment permits 250 thousand tons, but Century/Norðurál plans to build a 360 thousand ton smelter and today’s contract gives the company the right to do so. (1) The energy for the smelter has not been found and Svandís Svarvarsdóttir, the minister of environment has officially said that enough energy to run the smelter does not exist in the Reykjanes peninsula. (2) At the same time, Katrín Júlíusdóttir, the minister of industry, has agreed with ideas about Landsvirkjun selling energy from the planned dams in Þjórsá river to Helguvík. (3) Read More

Sep 15 2008

Sveinbjarnardóttir: Protect Icelandic Nature from Heavy Industry


Rene DescartesIn a special report on the environment, Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir, minister for the environment in Iceland, says that Icelandic nature has suffered from aluminium production and needs increased protection. “It is time to correct the injustice nature and environmental protection has faced because of heavy industry,” says the report.
She says Iceland’s nature is valuable, and conserving it is a way of utilising the resource. In the past Iceland’s nature, it’s rivers and geothermal fields have been seen as ‘unutilised resources’ that are almost asking for exploitation. This view, held by many Icelandic politicians and entrepreneurs, is a modern interpretation of 17th century Cartesian thought. Read More

Sep 15 2008

English Jury: Direct Action Legitimate


KingsnorthBBC News – Six Greenpeace activists have been cleared of causing criminal damage during a protest over coal-fired power. The activists were charged with causing £30,000 of damage after they scaled Kingsnorth power station in Hoo, Kent. At Maidstone Crown Court Judge David Caddick said the jury had to examine whether protesters had a lawful excuse. The defendants said the protest was lawful because it aimed to prevent damaging emissions. Read More

Jul 14 2008

Landsvirkjun Wants to Reactivate Whole Energy Masterplan


Haifoss waterfall Court Delays Hydropower Projects in Þjórsá

If all heavy industry projects that are planned in Iceland will be executed, the sector will require the double amount of energy that is uses today. The heavy industry sector currently uses about 61 percent of all energy produced in Iceland. Landsvirkjun has stated that the planned Þjórsá and Tungnaá (Langisjór) dams and geothermal exploitation (þeistareykir, Krafla, Hengill and Reykjanes) will not be sufficient and more power projects are needed. Landsvirkjun is basically suggesting that the whole original energy masterplan would need to be reactivated, contrary to supposed government policy.

In the mean time, the court case between landowners by Þjórsá river in south Iceland versus the state, on the harnessing rights of the river, will delay the construction of three planned hydropower plants, because of so-called Titan Agreements (an old water agreement). Read More

Jun 29 2008

Left-Greens Demand Report on Police Conduct Against Protestors


The Left-Green Party demanded in parliament in April that the Minister of Justice, Bjorn Bjarnason, should write a detailed report of all actions of the Icelandic police against Saving Iceland activists during the years of 2005, 2006 and 2007. This report is due now. Saving Iceland will be reporting on further developments in this case. Below is the demand in English.
Armand: Brave Cops of Iceland Read More

May 29 2008
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Founder of Saving Iceland Acquitted


iceland-police-state.jpgÓlafur Páll Sigurðsson, the founder of Saving Iceland, has been acquitted. Sigurðsson had been accused of vandalizing a police car, using only his fists.
In the end of July 2006, during the 2nd protest camp of Saving Iceland against the dams at Kárahnjúkar, an unmarked 4×4 police car came driving towards the camp site and started photgraphing people having their lunch. A few of the protestors walked towards the car, including Sigurðsson. When he stepped in front of the stationary vehicle the driver of the car, Arinbjörn Snorrason, accelerated suddenly and drove into Sigurðsson, who saved his life by putting his hands on the bonnet of the car and jumping out of its way.
Armand: Brave Cops of Iceland Read More

Apr 20 2008
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Founder of Saving Iceland Accused by Icelandic Police


ops-karahnjukum

On Monday 21st April 2008 Saving Iceland Founder, Olafur Pall Sigurdsson, will appear before the District Court of East Iceland charged with property damage. The charge relates to an incident at Snæfell Mountain protest camp in the end of July 2006.

All the civilian witnesses recount that a police 4×4 was deliberately driven into Sigurdsson at a potentially fatal speed. The driver, officer 8716 Arinbjorn Snorrason, a high ranking officer in charge of operations at Kárahnjúkar, also attempted to run over other protestors on multiple occasions that same summer, at Lindur (now submerged location of a SI action camp) and at an action on Desjarárstífla dam construction site. Read More

Jan 27 2008

UN: Iceland’s Fishing Quota System Unfair


The United Nations Human Rights Committee has determined that Icelandic authorities violated the rights of two Icelandic fishermen who were not allocated any fishing quota after applying for it and were deemed to go fishing on a boat that had none.
The Human Rights Committee concluded that the Icelandic state should give the fishermen full compensation and establish a fisheries control system that fulfills the demands of international law, Morgunbladid reports. Read More

Jan 07 2008

‘Concerning the Fundamental Values of Society’ by Miriam Rose


A talk which opened a panel discussion at the ‘Reykjavikur Akademia’ with the topic ‘What are the Fundamental Values of Society’ 20 November 2007. Panelists included Reykjavik Chief of Police Stefán Eiríksson, historian and Left Green MP Guðfríður Lilja Grétarsdóttir and philosopher Viðar Thorsteinsson.

For those of you who don’t already know me, my name is Miriam Rose, and I am an activist and environmental scientist from the UK. I have been asked to speak today on my experience of the basic values of Icelandic society, based on an interview I did on Kastljos in October, after I was threatened with deportation from Iceland for my part in actions against the heavy industry policy of your government. The letter of requested deportation which I received explained that I may be expelled from Iceland for a minimum of three years as my behavior constitutes a ‘threat to the fundamental values of society’.
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