Apr 20 2009

Skyr Thrown in the Heavy Industry Parties’ Election Offices

Today, green ‘skyr’ (traditional Icelandic dairy product) was thrown at the election offices of three political parties, which are responsible for the invasion of the aluminium industry into Iceland. Skyr throwing is the Icelandic equivalent of pie throwing and has become a tradition in the environmental struggle; the last similar action took place only one and a half month ago.

At 11:00 this morning, people rushed into an office of Samfylkingin (the Social Democratic Alliance) in Hafnarfjörður, and threw the green liquid over the party’s propaganda, furniture and the floor. At a similar time Framsóknarflokkurinn (right wing) was targeted in Kópavogur. The windows of the election office were completely covered in green liquid, as well as advertisement signs outside the building.

Two hours later, green ‘skyr’ was thrown inside an office of Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn (right wing conservatives) close to the center of Reykjavík. The whole office was covered; furniture, floors and propaganda.

Why these targets?
The targets are all understandable, since these three parties share the responsibility for the environmental and economical crisis Iceland is now facing.

Rio Tinto-Alcan operates an aluminium smelter in Hafnarfjörður and has wanted to enlarge it for several years. In a local referendum the majority of Hafnarfjörður inhabitants voted against the enlargement. But since then, RT-Alcan and the city council, lead by Samfylkingin, have tried to force the enlargement through, e.g. by claiming that the referendum’s issue was not the enlargement of the smelter, but only city planning. In continuation they have suggested that the smelter will be enlarged in the opposite direction; on a landfill in the sea. The energy needed for the increased production is supposed to come from Þjórsá and Tungnaá Rivers in the south of Iceland, where there is fierce local opposition to further dams.

Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn was in government for 17 years, until angry Icelanders rushed onto the streets of Reykjavík last January, protested and in the end toppled the government. During these years, Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn invited the aluminium industry to Iceland, promising “minimal environmental red tape” and cheap energy. To fulfill the party’s master plan, every major glacial river in Iceland would have to be dammed, as well as every active geothermal zone.

Framsóknarflokkurinn formed the other half of the first corrupt heavy industry coalition, holding the ministries of environment and industry. Now, when in parliamentary opposition, the party speaks and behaves like it had nothing to do with the economic collapse last fall. One of its main aims for the upcoming elections is (just like Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn) the continuation of the aluminium industry’s invasion.

Not for the first time
This is the second time in a short time period when green skyr is thrown in Iceland. Early in March this year, three people attacked the energy companies, while their representatives took part in green-washing days inside the University of Iceland. Read more about it here.

June 14th 2005, green skyr was thrown in an international aluminium conference in Reykjavík. This was one of the first Saving Iceland actions as well as one of the first direct actions taken against the government’s heavy industry policy. Read more here.

The tradition of throwing skyr as a protest originates from a militant atheist action that took place in Reykjavík, 1970, when one individual, carpenter Helgi Hóseason, threw ‘skyr’ over the Icelandic bishop, president, the entire government and members of parliament. For years he had fought for the right to be de-baptized, but was repeatedly refused. Hence he took action.

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