'Saving Iceland' Tag Archive

Aug 09 2006

Police Criticized for Harsh Treatment of Protesters


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

Aug 09 2006

War on Innocent Tourists Observed at Kárahnjukar Protest


Reykjavik Grapevine

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

Aug 03 2006

Sigur Rós Plays for Protesters at Kárahnjúkar Dams


Jónsi arrested protesting against Karahnjukar dams International indie darlings Sigur Rós will give a brief concert today for protesters of the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam project, who have set up camp in eastern Iceland near the industrial site.according to Morgunbladid online. Sigur Rós are renowned for their opposition to the Kárahnjúkavirkjun project. Run-ins between police and protesters have escalated over the past few days and law enforcement has been increased substantially. Read More

Aug 03 2006

Police Intimidation


K.hnjkr. 2006 -Police chief O.Bjartmarz declared to MBL that no batons were used Yesterday police arrested 4 activists at the main dam site. Activists were brutally arrested for tresspass, one was grabbed by a neckerchief and all had their faces pushed into the ground and legs hit with truncheons.

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.

Aug 03 2006

Camp Moves to Lindur at Karahnjukar


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

Jul 27 2006

Two Simultaneous Blockades at Eyjabakkar and Kárahnjúkar


26 July 2006

Eyjabakkaaction

Eyjabakkar are being destroyed!

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.

Eyjabakkaaction3 

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.

block3

From the blockade of the Landsvirkjun bridge at at Kárahnjúkar

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.

block2

ALCOA out of Iceland! Let the wilderness be in peace!

Jul 24 2006

The Protest Camp has Started!!


Updated 29/7 2006

The Friends of Iceland/Saving Iceland protest camp has been erected at Snaefell close to the dams at Karahnjukar.

 

Jess Hurd4

On Saturday at least 150 people went on a protest hike into the area to be drowned. The hike ended with a silent protest vigil at the site of the central dam. Anger and sorrow was the predominant feeling.

Jess Hurd3

The atmosphere at the camp is amazing and there is much dynamism in the air and feverish activity. Almost two hundred people are in the camp now. About half the people are Icelandic, the other half English, Scottish, French, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish, Italian, German etc.

Ghostigital 

Ghostigital played a bistering set in the blazing evening sun with waterfalls and mountain ridges in the background. Dean Ferrell played a very inspiring set in the daytime yesterday and Palindrome played in the evening.

Dean Ferrell 

Both Björk and Sigur Rós are expected to appear soon at the camp.

Jun 28 2006

Saving Iceland Concert Held in Belgium


Icelandic National Brodacasting Service, RÚV, reports that Icelandic and international opponents of heavy industry projects in Iceland have organized a concert titled “Saving Iceland” in Antwerp, Belgium. Icelandic and international artists performed and an Icelandic documentary was presented.

The benefit event with live Icelandic bands, intended to bring the issue of the dams in Iceland to the public attention was a great success; the event as well as the resulting media attention.

Having been interviewed by three national radio stations and having been published in two national newspapers, the Belgian media has been enthusiastic in bringing the news of building large scale dams in Iceland.

Saturday, 24 June, Antwerp was host to 4 Icelandic live bands: Stylluppsteypa, Berglind Ágústsdottir, Skátar and Cocktail Vomit aka Disco Shrimp. They gave a performance after the documentary World of Solitude with Magnus Magnusson had been shown and people had asked questions. Some 450 people showed up to learn more about the matter or to listen to quite experimental live music. It was a success in every way and many people plan to come to Iceland this summer to join the ‘Family Days’ camp at Snaefell, starting 21th July.

Jun 26 2006

Final deadline for t-shirt designs…


Thankyou to everyone who has already sent in a design for a Saving Iceland tshirt, they have all been of such a high quality, we are amazed. Read More

Jun 20 2006

Design a Saving Iceland tshirt!


Are you a good designer? Read More