'Bechtel' Tag Archive

Sep 28 2006

The Closing of the Gates…


With tears in my eyes i write these words I never believed I would. The flooding of Kárahnjúkar has now begun.

The Icelandic media has reported that within the first few hours of the closing of the dam doors on the morning of 28 September 2006, like a noose being tightened, the water level rose 15 meters. The entire 200m+ flooding depth will not be completed until next summer. Some people turned up to watch the valley be drowned, notably reporter Ómar Ragnarsson who will board a boat on the rising reservoir and film the death of the many waterfalls, valleys, cliffs, and so forth.

Despite two summers of an international protest camp in the Icelandic Highlands which was attended by hundreds of people from all over the world; despite a 15,000 people marching in Reykjavik the day before today, together with 200 from Akureyri, 50 in Ísafjörður, 100 in Egilsstaðir, a turnout which is over five times the size of the previous largest demonstration in the 300,000 person Iceland; despite a disastrous environmental assessment report; despite calls from scientists and nature lovers inside outside and out; despite all the consequences on Iceland’s economy; despite this area now to be known as the Halslon reservoir being of huge cultural significance to Iceland; despite it being the second largest wilderness in Europe: heavy industry has got its way and stolen this wilderness merely for the sake of the production of aluminium.

The fight to save Kárahnjúkar may now be over, but the fight to defend Iceland from further assaults by the pro-heavy-industry patriarchs is just beginning. Alcoa, Landsvirkjun, the Icelandic government and any other corporation profiting from this murder will pay for the death of this great wilderness.

Sep 27 2006

15,000 People March to Save Kárahnjúkar


27/9/2006

A historical amount of Icelanders today marched in four different cities against the damming of Kárahnjúkar. Following a call from retiring television reporter and nature enthusiast Ómar Ragnarsson to march on the day before the dam is scheduled to be flooded, up to 15,000 people in total walked the streets in the Reykjavik, Akureyri, Egilsstaðir and Ísafjörður. ”

fimmtanthusund 

Read More

Aug 24 2006
4 Comments

1 AND 15 SEPTEMBER – INTERNATIONAL DAYS OF ACTION AGAINST THE ICELANDIC STATE AND ALCOA


No matter the environmental and social cost, no matter the ever increasing protests from the Icelandic and international communities and the intensifying warnings fom the scientific sector, the Icelandic government is hellbent on going ahead with its plan to inundate the projected Hálslón reservoir at Kárahnjúkar between 15-30 September.

They must be stopped!

Wherever you are in the world it is likely that there will be a target for you to make your protest felt. Icelandic embassies, consulates or the companies involved in the project, ALCOA, Bechtel, Impregilo… See a list of the companies involved on “The Nature Killers” on our website.

ALCOA worldwide

Icelandic diplomatic missions

TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE DESTRUCTION OF EUROPE’S LAST GREAT WILDERNESS!

ALCOA OUT OF ICELAND!

Aug 10 2006

THE PROTEST CAMP HAS RELOCATED TO REYÐARFJÖRÐUR!!


11 August 2006

The protest camp has relocated to the farm Kollaleira, in Reyðarfjörður. This is the fjord where war profiters Bechtel are building the ALCOA aluminimum smelter.

To join us see the ‘Join the fight’ section for updated info and contact number.

THE FIGHT AGAINST THE DESTROYERS OF NATURE GOES ON!!!

 

Reydarfjordur 

Aug 09 2006

War on Innocent Tourists Observed at Kárahnjukar Protest


Reykjavik Grapevine

As usual Reykjavik Grapevine has regrettable problems with getting some of their facts right, but still worth a read.[Ed.]

A series of dubious tactics by law enforcement officials in the area around the Kárahnjukar dam protests have left protestors and conservationists throughout Iceland screaming “foul”. Read More

Jul 24 2006

The Protest Camp has Started!!


Updated 29/7 2006

The Friends of Iceland/Saving Iceland protest camp has been erected at Snaefell close to the dams at Karahnjukar.

 

Jess Hurd4

On Saturday at least 150 people went on a protest hike into the area to be drowned. The hike ended with a silent protest vigil at the site of the central dam. Anger and sorrow was the predominant feeling.

Jess Hurd3

The atmosphere at the camp is amazing and there is much dynamism in the air and feverish activity. Almost two hundred people are in the camp now. About half the people are Icelandic, the other half English, Scottish, French, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish, Italian, German etc.

Ghostigital 

Ghostigital played a bistering set in the blazing evening sun with waterfalls and mountain ridges in the background. Dean Ferrell played a very inspiring set in the daytime yesterday and Palindrome played in the evening.

Dean Ferrell 

Both Björk and Sigur Rós are expected to appear soon at the camp.

May 27 2006

Over 3000 people demonstrate at ‘Friends of Iceland’ Demo and Concert Against Heavy Industry!!


islvinir

Usally organisers of demonstations in Iceland are very pleased if 2000 people attend demos. But over 3000! This goes to show the rising tide against the heavy industy policy and corporate invasion of Iceland. Bravo!

Read More

Apr 23 2006

The Nature Killers – A Brief Run Down of the Corporations Involved in the Kárahnjúkar Dam


CorporateNews.org.uk
April 4th, 2005

Barclays Bank
Already fund the notorious Narmada dam project in India – and have played a ‘key role’ in financing the dam by arranging a $400 million loan to Landsvirkjun, the Icelandic power company that will run the dam.

Impregilo

work 

Dodgy Italian construction conglomerate, in charge of building most of the dam . One of Impregilo’s consultants has already been found guilty in 2003 of offering bribes to a Lesotho hydro-electric firm, and the company itself will face another hearing before the Lesotho courts in April 2005. Impregilo were also involved in building the Argentina’s Yacyreta dam, which went almost $10 million over budget and was labeled byPresident Carlos Menem ‘a monument to corruption’ . Impregilo were also one of the firms planning to build the infamous Ilisu dam.

Invest In Iceland
Part of the Icelandic Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Promotes investment in Iceland, and seem to be one of the quasi-governmental agencies that has been pushing for the hydro dam.

National Power Company of Iceland (Landsvirkjun)
This is the company that will run the Karahnjukar dam. Initially set up to explore hyro-electric power opportunities, Landsvirkjun now supplies electricity to the whole of Iceland. Owned jointly by theIcelandic State (50%) and the two biggest towns Reykjav í k (45%) and Akureyri (5%). Landsvirkjun also take part in greenwash operations with Alcoa, such as ‘The Alcoa/Landsvirkjun Sustainability Group’, which co-oprdinates projects such as spreading hay to stop soil erosion – which won’t, however, stop the massive erosion caused by the dryung out of dammed river beds. More on greenwash in the Alcoa section. You can track the progress on the dam, day by day, on this part of their website: http://www.karahnjukar.is/en/

Alcoa
The US company that will run the aluminium smelter. Alcoa is the world’s largest producer of aluminium, serves the most industries as well as producing ‘bacofoil’. It is very influential in US as well as Icelandic poltics: Ethical Consumer described Alcoa’s operations as ‘a near textbook example of how to win friends in high places’, counting the US Treasury Secretary, Paul O ’ Neill, as one of its former CEOs. While a major polluter, Alcoa undertakes greenwashing exercises such as the ‘Alcoa forest’ project, which claims to plant ‘ten million trees’. However, in Western Australia Alcoa have simply planted trees on top of the blasted and mined remains of former forest land; the new growth cannot compensate for the loss old eco-system, resulting in substantial erosion of topsoil. Read More

Feb 01 2006

Young Icelandic Activists Storm the Ministry of Industry


Twenty teenage activists stormed the offices of the Icelandic Ministry of Industry and staged a sitdown and noise demo inside the ministry for about an hour. This was to demonstrate against the international aluminium invasion into pristine Iceland.

The message was tainted more than little by irony: “We want more pollution, more smelters, more destruction of nature, only jobs in smelters, more Alzheimer, fuck nature, fuck the future”

Suddenly the teenagers sat down on the floor and produced tubs of ‘skyr’ (in symbolic support of the activists who drenched delegates at the 10th International Aluminium Conference with the yoghurt like substance) and proceeded to “eat their own words”.

The staff of the ministry called the police, who were well and truly ignored by the vigorous youngsters, and gave up sowing their usual brand of disorder.

This was a very cheerful protest and a total success. Most of the press and all TV stations turned up for the edifying spectacle and no one was arrested.

The action coincided most conveniently with a news release from the Ministry of Industry about four spanking new aluminium smelters that are to be built or extended (ALCAN and Century) in the south-west and north (ALCOA) of Iceland, promising amongst other horrors, according to scientists, to make the bay of Faxafloi the most heavily polluted area in Northern Europe.

Arms manufacturers ALCOA are deliberating a smelter in the north (possibly in Húsavík) on top of the monster 360.000 tons smelter war-profiteers Bechtel are already building for them in Reydarfjordur in the east of Iceland. Europe’s last great untouched wilderness is to be sacrificed to generate bogus “green” electricity for the ALCOA smelter.

Jan 24 2006

Stop the Dams Concert a Massive Success


The Stop the Dams mega concert, featuring a once in a lifetime collection of artists, was a huge success. At the concert the dates to the next protest camp at the Kárahnjúkar project were announced, 21st July. Hundreds if not thousands of Icelanders are expected to attend. The destruction will be stopped!

Almost 6,000 people partied in protest against the devastation of Iceland’s wildernesses on January the 7th.

The lineup included KK, Björk and Zeena, Múm, Sigur Rós, Magga Stína, Rass and Dr. Spock, Damien Rice, Mugison, Lisa Hannigan, Hjálmar, Ghostigital, Damon Albarn (from Blur), Ham, and Egó. Performance artists and film-makers were also among the nearly two hundred artists that contributed to the event.

In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian (13 Feb ’06), Björk had this to say about politics and the dam: Read More

Náttúruvaktin