Jan 18 2006

Icelandic ‘Skyr’ Activists Sentenced

Two of the activists who took part in the June 2005 Hotel Nordica ‘skyr’ action at the International Aluminium Conference, have recently been sentenced in Reykjavik municipal court to two months in prison suspended for two years and a £6000 “cleaning up bill”, fines and expences.

Hotel Nordica is frequently host to international heavy industry conferences. According to the owners of Hotel Nordica it cost over £5000 to hire a carpet cleaner for two hours! The original claim of Hotel Nordica (owned by Icelandair) was £55.000. ‘Skyr’ is a perfectly harmless jogurt like substance and nobody was hurt during the incident.

The action was a prelude to the Saving Iceland international protest camp which took place in the Icelandic higlands near the building site of Kárahnjúkar dams. The Kárahnjúkar dams are being built to provide bogus “green energy” for a 360.000 tons ALCOA owned aluminium smelter which is now being built by war profiteers Bechtel in the east of Iceland. This project alone threatens to destroy the largest pristine wilderness of Europe.

The protest camp was heavily persecuted by the Icelandic police through out the summer and exposed the repressive nature of the Icelandic government. The actions invigorated the Icelandic environmentalist movement and the opposition to the Kárahnjúkar dams and numerous other similar dam projects planned all over the Icelandic highlands, just to create energy for foreign aluminium corporations. These “developments” will destroy some of the most ecologically sensitive and beautifully preserved wildernesses in Europe.

New smelters and the expansion of already existing smelters, owned by Century and ALCAN, and a planned anode rod plant owned by R & D Carbon, threaten to make the area around Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, the most heavily polluted area in Northern Europe.

Another, much larger international protest camp has been announced. It will be organised by Friends of Iceland (Íslandsvinir) and Saving Iceland. It begins 21 July in the Kárahnjúkar area.

The two Icelandic activists, Arna Osp Magnusardottir and Olafur Pall Sigurdsson are lumbered with having to pay the fines and costs from the court case.

Please contact savingiceland@riseup.net if you can help.

See also:

Answers from those arrested at Hotel Nordica 14 June