Archive for 2009

Jul 21 2009

Join us at Vedanta Sterlite AGM, 27th July, London


Dongia Khond

Please join us and show your solidarity for the Dongria Khond tribe of Orissa, India, whose ancient way of life, and biodiverse and beautiful mountain home is threatened by Bauxite mining and Aluminium refineries: On Monday 27th July at 2pm,  outside and inside the  Annual General Meeting of VEDANTA RESOURCES PLC, Lincoln Centre, 18, Lincoln Inn’s Fields, LONDON WC2. This is an important opportunity to influence shareholders who have a chance in stopping the imminent decision to start bulldozing this comunity. Please come show solidarity and support to the tribal people who have fought Vedanta for over 20 years, and lost many brothers and sisters to company and government violence in the process. Their way of life has existed in harmony with the mountains for hundreds of years. Vedanta want the whole mountain top, and hence the fertility of the whole mountain area for 25 years worth of quick profit. Help us protect this mountain and its incredible community.  See the leaflet below for more info:

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Jul 08 2009

Impregilo Gets Permission to Bury 800 Tons of Rubber


The Italian construction company Impregilo plans to bury machinery, which was used to get stones and gravel up from the inflowing tunnel of the Kárahnjúkar Dam. The conveyer belt, which is about half meter wide, has been rolled in to 200 roles that each weights four tons. In total 800 tons of rubber – about fifty truckloads – will be dug in to the ground in Tjarnalands, Fljótsdalshérað.

After receiving an advice concerning the landfill, the Environment Administration Umhverfisstofnun) decided to stop it for a limited time, while it was researched if this amount of rubber could be buried. The conclusion was that Impregilo is allowed to bury the machinery. Read More

Jul 08 2009

Landsvirkjun’s Credit Rating in the ‘Trash’ – The Company Owes 250 Million Dollars


The company Standards and Poors, which evaluates company’s credit rating, has lowered Landsvirkjun (Iceland’s national energy company) down to a category usually known as “the Trash”, due to Landsvirkjun’s constantly worsening financial situation. This means e.g. that the company will face serious problems when trying to get loans for new and upcoming projects. In announcement from Landsvirkjun, Stefán Pétursson, the company’s financial director, says that the lowered position will not have any impacts on the company’s already existing loans.

This is for the first time when Landsvirkjun’s credit rate is lower then the Icelandic state’s rate. According to Bloomberg, Landsvirkjun has to pay 250 million dollars (32 billion ISK) this year and the next one, as payments of loans and bonds, as well as paying interests.

The 19th of June this year, Landsvirkjun and the Icelandic state signed a contract, which states that if Landsvirkjun is in a lack of finance to pay their costs because of loans, the Central Bank will give the company money in exchange of Icelandic Krónur or bonds. The contract is valid for two years and with it, Landsvirkjun has access to 300 million dollars.

Jul 08 2009

Not Enough Energy for Helguvík


On Tuesday June 16th, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, Iceland’s new minister of environment, said in parliament that the needed 625 MW of energy needed for Century’s (Norðurál) aluminium smelter in Helguvík, does not exist.

“I could hold long speeches about it, that 625 MW for 365 thousand ton aluminium smelter, does not exist in this area. At the same time we are trying to discuss with people who knock on our doors, people who want green jobs and green build-up and we cannot promise them energy because the energy is mostly narrowed to aluminium production. Unfortunately. It is very serious case”, said Svandís. Read More

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.

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May 24 2009

Action Camp!


This summer Saving Iceland will be converging in Iceland from the 18th July – join us to take action against heavy industry!

Keep watching this space for updates and info point locations and write to us on savingiceland [at] riseup.net to let us know you’re coming!

How to get to Iceland:

The financial crisis has taken its toll on ferry routes in the North Sea, so this summer the only ferry from mainland Europe to Iceland goes from Hanstholm in Denmark to Seyðisfjørður in Eastern Iceland. Go to http://www.smyril-line.com/ for ferry time tables and prices.

From the UK, Iceland Air and British Airways fly from Glasgow and Gatwick to Reykjavik.

What to bring:

Come prepared to live inside a convergence space and to camp. And please remember that even in the summer weather conditions can be harsh in Iceland – good camping gear is essential if you want to stay warm and dry.

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May 10 2009

Don’t Thank Icelanders For Iceland


Given the chance, we’d have made it into Murmansk

From The Reykjavík Grapvine – Dreamland is the result of collaboration between documentary filmmaker Þorfinnur Guðnason and author, playwright and poet Andri Snær Magnason. It is based on the latter’s best selling, award winning 2006 non-fiction book, ‘Dreamland: A self-help manual for a Frightened Nation’ (available in English translation through Amazon.co.uk and at local bookstores). The book stirred a lot of controversy in Iceland, as it shed new light on some of the issues surrounding the conflict between environmental preservation and the build up of heavy industry in Iceland. It furthermore examined the government’s hope to sell cheap energy from hydroelectric power plants in order to place Iceland among the world’s biggest aluminium manufacturers – and why on Earth we’d aspire to that.

The film goes even further, using the full potential of the medium to conjure up a truly chilling vision of recent events. And it’s effective. As we exited a screening of the film, my friend Geiri summarised the experience perfectly, saying: “Most of the time, I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or vomit in disgust.” That somehow says it all. A scathing indictment of Iceland’s recent “all in” industrial and environmental policies, Dreamland combines archival news footage, exquisite nature shots and select interviews to achieve its goal of waking Icelanders up to the very real, very serious consequences of selling off some of the last bits of pristine wilderness remaining in Europe. Read More

Apr 25 2009

‘Green’ Deception Flops – A Statement from Saving Iceland Regarding Skyr Splashings of Election Offices


Olafur Pall Sigurdsson

Saving Iceland applauds the symbolic hits that the three pro-heavy industry political parties were dealt in the form of liberal splashes of green skyr (traditional Icelandic dairy product) on Monday.

According to Saving Iceland’s sources, three different groups, not just one, like the corporate media have claimed, did these actions almost simultaneously. Saving Iceland has also been informed that the activists were all Icelandic. It appears that this is a powerful group of activists, fighting the heavy industrialization of Iceland. Saving Iceland declares full support with the group.

The forces that stand behind Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn (Conservatives), Framsóknarflokkurinn (Right-wing opportunists) and Samfylkingin (New Labour equivalents), are guilty of what is tantamount to high treason with their heavy industry policy. Judging from their election propaganda, there is no sign that the parties have been willing to learn anything from the economic collapse about the expansion effects on the economy by heavy industry.

At the same time as these parties’ policy of uncontrollable greed has been pursued with the consequences of immense irreversible destruction of the country’s unique nature, this policy has just as much harmed Icelandic society as a whole. Read More

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. Read More

Apr 07 2009
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Aluminum Companies Consulted About New Draft of the Icelandic Constitution


A parliamentary committee for redrafting of the Icelandic constitution consulted representatives from three foreign aluminium companies – Rio Tinto-Alcan, Alcoa and Century Aluminum – to give comments about the constitution. The chairman of the committee is the former minister of industry, Valgerður Sverrisdóttir – the ‘aluminium lady’.

A regulation about the national property of natural resources is in a draft of law that recently has been heavily debated in the parliament. The committee asked for comment from various directions, e.g. the aluminium and energy companies. All the three aluminium companies are owned by foreign investors and their holding companies are all registered abroad. Read More

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