Sheffield activists were amongst the many people who headed out to Iceland this summer to support the protest camp against the Kárahnjúkar Hydroelectric Project, and the Icelandic governments dam building and industrialisation programme more generally. This dam building programme is threatening some of the largest and most incredible pristine areas of wilderness in Europe. The Kárahnjúkar dam is north of the Vatnajökull glacier, Europe’s biggest glacier. The protest camp was set up in the affected area and activists from Iceland, other parts of Europe and North America took part in a series of actions over July and August. Read More
'Repression' Tag Archive
Oct 07 2006
Alcoa claim that they are one of the most ethical corporations in the world. Really? Below is a message sent to us from our friends fighting Alcoa in Trinidad and Tobago”, where Alcoa wishes to cut down pristine rainforests and displace houndreds of people in order to mine the bauxite (aluminium ore) and build gas powered smelters. As in Iceland, there is a popular opposition to Alcoa in Trinidad and Tobago, yet the government welcomes Alcoa’s supposed ‘business.’ Read More
Today Iceland waves goodbye to the relic of a form of American empire that precedes its supra-national corporate invasion (Alcoa).
After 55 years of resentment the American military have finally abandoned its NATO military base in Keflavík, leaving complete control of the base to Iceland (or the Icelandic state, probably). Icelanders have fought hard against this imposition (see the great Icelandic author Haldor Laxness’ book “Atomic Station”). Read More
By Hanna Björk
Saying that the Kárahnjúkar dam has been controversial is an understatement. This hydro-power project, planned by Iceland’s government to dam glacial river flows and produce hydroelectric power for Alcoa’s aluminum smelter in Reyðarfjörður, east Iceland caused a debate that started a few years back. It has only been escalating. Read More
Ómar Ragnarsson Declares Formal Opposition to Kárahnjúkardams and Exposes Repressive Efforts of Authorities
One of Iceland’s best-known television and entertainment personalities, Ómar Ragnarsson, called a press conference yesterday to formally announce his opposition to the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam project in east Iceland.
He also announced that he will be publishing an eight-page supplement to be distributed with Morgunbladid on Sunday, addressing with the dam project and environmental issues in general. This is reported in all the main media. Read More
The governing committee of the Left-Green party in Iceland has sent forth a resolution in which it voices grave concerns about the alleged harsh actions by police against protestors of the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam project, travellers and nature lovers passing through the Kárahnjúkar area. The resolution reads: “The governing committee of the Left-Green party would like to reiterate that freedom of expression and opinion are among the cornerstones of a just and democratic society. This includes the right to voice one’s opinion and to protest, if done in a peaceful and appropriate manner.
“The governing committee of the Left-Green party demands an immediate investigation into the conduct and alleged harshness of police that have included the unecessary and even illegal blocking of people’s movement through the highlands. An investigation must also be conducted into the enduring rumor that police has undertaken extensive unwarranted and unauthorized collection of personal data, filmed individuals, and taken other actions that violate the sanctity of personal freedom and movement. The description that have appeared in the media by people on site of harsh treatment by police fully warrant an immediate and objective investigation. … Should it transpire that police have gone too far, or are guilty of illegal activities, actions must immediately be taken so that this does not happen again, and those responsible must be judged in a court of law.” Read More
Former Minister of Commerce and Industry Valgerdur Sverrisdóttir refused to meet Left-Green Party leader Steingrímur J. Sigfússon on the Kastljós news program on Wednesday evening, to discuss why she had failed to disclose details of a report concerning the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam project to parliament. This was revealed in a letter by the director of the Icelandic National Broadcasting Corporation (RÚV), which broadcasts the program. Previously Sigfússon had publicly criticized the fact. Read More
Árni Finnsson, chairman of the Iceland Nature Conservation Association, accuses former Minister of Industry and Commerce Valgerdur Sverrisdóttir of corruption, for failing to reveal details of a report showing that the area on which the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam is being built has active faults in the earth. This was reported by all the main media this weekend and is reported by RÚV online today.
Geophysicist Grímur Björnsson recently revealed on television news programme Kastljós that a report he had prepared, criticizing the placement of the Kárahnjúkar dam, had been stamped as confidential by his superior at the time. Minister of Industry Sverrisdóttir had subsequently failed to reveal the details of the report to parliament, as she was obliged to do.
Sverrisdóttir rejects all accusations, claiming the current controversy is a last-ditch effort on behalf of the opposition to delay the flooding of the Hálsalón reservoir. The flooding of the reservoir, which is set to take place at the end of September, will submerge a large section of the Icelandic highlands. Read More
This summer’s protest camp is disbanding but the fight must go on. Icelandic nature is running out of time, as it is being relentlessly destroyed by those whose wealth and power comes from the exploitation of people and the environment.
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.
Leader of the opposition in Iceland’s parliament, Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, has demanded a new risk assessment for the area on which the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam in east Iceland is being built. The dam is being constructed to supply the Alcoa aluminum smelter being raised in Reydarfjördur, east Iceland, with power. This is reported in all the main media today.
Álfheidur Ingadóttir, who has a seat on the board of the National Power Company, told RÚV yesterday that geological research carried out prior to the start of the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam project had been inadequate. Sigurdur Arnalds, spokesman for the project, says that despite it having been proven that geological tremors in the area are more likely than previously thought, it had been ensured at the preparation stage that nothing would go wrong despite seismic activity. Read More