May 24 2009

Summer Mobilisation Call-Out!

A Century Of Warcrimes Is Not SustainableJoin us from 18th July to resist the industrialisation of Europe’s last remaining great wilderness and take direct action against heavy industry!

The Struggle So Far

The campaign to defend Europe’s greatest remaining wilderness continues. For the past four years direct action camps in Iceland during the summer have targeted aluminium smelters, mega-dams and geothermal power plants.

After the terrible destruction caused at Kárahnjúkar and Hengill, it is time to crush the ‘master plan’ that would have seen every single major glacial river dammed, every substantial geothermal field exploited and the construction of aluminium smelters, oil refineries and silicon factories, as well as a significant increase in Iceland’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The Situation Now

Despite optimism following the ‘cutlery revolution’ where mass street protests and direct action brought down the Icelandic government and forced the issue of heavy industry back onto the political agenda, the battle is far from over.

The fall of aluminium prices on the world market and the global economic crisis has taken its toll on heavy industry projects and aluminium companies in Iceland, putting many of the plans for aluminium smelters, mega-dams and geothermal power plants on hold, or ruled out completely. The heavy industry machine is far from having been defeated but recent uprisings show the deep impact Saving Iceland has had on the grassroots and the political landscape.

Political Changes

The recent elections are a major blow for the environmental movement in Iceland, with the ‘Left Greens’ booting the minister of the environment out for being too much of a genuine environmentalist. We are looking at a heavily fortified pro-heavy industry government, doing away with any pretence of the government being ‘Green’ or even remotely Left wing. On top of this, national energy companies have already started negotiations with other types of industry in the North, where some politicians ruled out a new smelter.

Anarchy in Iceland

Years of work by Saving Iceland to introduce the ideas of direct action and anarchy into mainstream society, coupled with a radicalised population following the downfall of the government, has resulted in a constantly growing movement of radical activists and anarchists in Iceland.

Over the past few months squatters have twice taken a social centre and defended it from eviction, refugee and no borders activism is going strong, Food Not Bombs hit the streets every week and actions such as the four “skyr attacks” (where green yoghurt is thrown all over displays, computers and suits) in two months have targeted politicians and nature killers.

The mutual support between the Icelandic radical community and Saving Iceland this summer will make for a very exciting and action-filled mobilisation!

Targets this Summer

The Helguvík aluminium smelter, targeted by Saving Iceland last summer with an action that stopped construction for a whole day after 40 activists invaded the site, is still being built. Powering the smelter will mean eight new power plants, at least seven of which will be geothermal from the Reykjanes Peninsula, drying it up, and Hellisheiði – also targeted by Saving Iceland last summer that saw a drill rig shut down costing thousands of pounds. One of the geothermal plants powering Century’s smelter could be in Bitra, close to Hengill, where a local campaign last winter stopped construction from taking place. The eighth power plant will probably be a mega-dam on the beautiful Þjórsá River.

If ever there was a building site and “test drilling sites” destroying unique and fragile ecosystems and  vulnerable to direct action this summer they are on the Reykjanes peninsula, South West Iceland!

Get involved!

Come to Iceland from the 18th July and join us for a summer of resistance and direct action. Check this page for regular updates and information for people joining us, or email us on to let us know when you’re arriving.

Help support our struggle with donations, translations, solidarity actions and by spreading the word.