Jul 19 2005

Violent Repression of Peaceful International Protest


Icelandic police order drivers to start machinery risking protestors’ lives.

Police and security guards at the Karahnjukar Dam construction site in Iceland, last night ordered the bulldozers drivers to start their engines and move off, despite there being more than 25 people locked on to the underside of their vehicles.

“It was terrifying, if someone hadn’t jumped up on the front of the truck and pulled out the fuel line then I think people may have been killed last night” said Rob, one of the protesters from the UK.

The activists were forced on to a coach and one protestor was assaulted by security personal while being held by police. Three people are being held on fabricated assault charges and may face deportation.

The protest was peaceful and relations with the workers were friendly until the police arrived at about 3 AM. The police ordered the drivers of the vehicles that people were locked on to, to start their engines. This created an incredibly dangerous situation as the drivers and the police didn’t share a common language. The police refused to talk to the protestors and started to forcibly remove people from the site. The protesters pleaded for a dialogue, but were ignored by authorities.

However, the protesters are defiant and say that this type of police behaviour will not stop them. The protest was part of an international protest camp, SOS Iceland, which has since the end of June used Non Violent Direct Action, mass walk ons to the constuction site and other protests to draw attention to “the destruction of the last remaining wilderness in Europe for building dams to power an aluminuum plant.” Despite the greenwash this project will not put any energy in to the national grid and will only create benefit for the company, Alcoa.

A statement from the camp said, “Multinational companies – willingly helped by the Icelandic government – are about to produce an environmental catastrophe of unprecedented proportions in interest of corporate profits.”

2 Responses to “Violent Repression of Peaceful International Protest”

  1. Anonymous says:

    The fact that you call human beings “trash” and “pollution” reveals more about you than you would like to let on.

    Your “letter of the law” turned out not to have a legal leg to stand on. The Directorate of Immigration finally ruled in November 2005 that it had no right to deport any of these people.

    The threats of deportations were in fact nothing but the illegal persecution of people who were exercising their democratic rights to protest against the crimes of a highly autocratic government.

    This is exactly what was pointed out in the article ‘Surprise, surprise!’ as early as September 2005.


  2. Halldór says:

    I demand that Icelandic authorities follow the letter of law to its fullest, which should lead to deportation of the foreign “protesters”, the useless trash presently polluting our countryside.