'Kárahnjúkar' Tag Archive

Aug 03 2006

Police Intimidation


Yesterday police arrested 4 activists at the main dam site. Activists were brutally arrested for tresspass, one was grabbed by a neckerchief and all had their faces pushed into the ground and legs hit with truncheons.

The legality of the arrest is contestable in its legality as there appears to be no documents to prove that the land is not public access. The activists, once detained were not allowed to make phone calls in the manner outlined in Icelandic law, but were allowed food to be brought to their cells (unlike on the main protest site where the police are trying to starve out campaigners).

All of the activists have since been released with no charges as it seems unlikely that they were breaking the law. Clearly the police and landsvirkjun are uncomfortable with campaigners close proximity to the dam.

Aug 03 2006

Camp Moves to Lindur at Karahnjukar


Activists moved the main site of the protest camp to Lindur on Tuesday 1st August. The police attempted to intimidate activists against the dam, by creating an eviction time of 12 noon the following day. They would not state where the current site was, preventing the group from moving to the adjacent area of land as is legal under icelandic law. Campaigners thereby moved to an area where they thought they would be legally allowed to stay. The police then used tactics of intimidation to try to stop the camp, which is clearly being an effective form of protest in itself, otherwise the police and companies related to the dam would have no problem with the campers. Dam companies caused the owner of the hut at Lindur to burn it to the ground, obviously they are trying to make protestor uncomfortable, but we remain resolved to fight heavy industry. Police have created various road blocks and have told the site kitchen that they are trying to starve campaigners, by not letting the kitchen on to site.

On the first morning of the camp being in the dam affected area the police carried out a drugs raid on the camp. They hasseled activists who were trying to explain their rights to house peace, which means icelandic police need a warrant to enter a dwelling, including a tent. This like many other laws was ignored. The police entered a number of tents, damaging two of them. The drugs dog paid no attention to the tents chosen. One activist was taken away and searched but released as he, like all of the other anti-dam campaigners, had no drugs or ilegal substances on him. Police lied to the media claiming that drugs were found, the media have now listened to activists explaining what really happened, but initially were unconvinved that the police would lie to them!

Icelanders are encouraged to visit the site. If a road block is in place the walk is only 30 mins and amongst the amazing scenery due to be flooded. Food and vehicles/lifts are always appriciated

Jul 27 2006

Two Simultaneous Blockades at Eyjabakkar and Kárahnjúkar


26 July 2006

Eyjabakkaaction

Eyjabakkar are being destroyed!

A bridge was blocked at Kárahnjúkar by ten people at the same time that over forty people blocked a crossroads by the worksite at the dams that are being built at Eyjabakkar. Both blockades were successful and although police arrived with riotshields there was no violence or arrests.

Eyjabakkaaction3

Apparently the police bragged about some contraption they have recently aquired which has hooks to drag away protestors which have locked on to each other. A policeman said it might “scratch a few arses”. SI ask if the Icelandic police realise that if they are going to subject protestors yet again to their reckless stupidity and inexperience they may cause serious physical harm to people. If a number of people who have locked on to each other in armtubes are to be “dragged” away it it will very likely result in a number of broken arms and other serious injuries. We demand that this be looked into by responsible people.

block3

From the blockade of the Landsvirkjun bridge at at Kárahnjúkar

The protestors issued a statement were they point out that although most people think that the wetlands of Eyjabakkar were saved from destruction by publick outcry and a pedition which collected 45.000 signatures in the year of 2000 there are at least four dams being built at Eyjabkkar as part of the Kárahnjúkar project. This will cause great damage to the Eyjabakkar area and threaten them further as ALCOA is likely to demand a future expansion of their factory in Reydarfjördur. In addition these dams at Eyjabakkar will destroy a procession of unique and much loved waterfalls.

According to the planning permission the main dam at Eyjbakkar is supposed to be 32m high. The dam is in fact being raised by 5 metres!

The central dam at Kárahnjúkar has also been sneakily raised by 10 metres. Both additions are illegal and will add to the devastation of the nature of the Eastern highlands.

block2

ALCOA out of Iceland! Let the wilderness be in peace!

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

May 24 2006

Inquiry Into the Conduct of the Icelandic Authorities


An official inquiry has been called for by the Left-green Party into the conduct of the Icelandic authorities and police during the protests in the summer and autumn of 2005.

In the summer and autumn of 2005 the Icelandic authorities performed numerous illegal arrests, violated the rights of people in custody, entered illegally the dwellings of protestors, violated severely the peace and right of privacy of individuals with thuggish surveillance, threats and intimidating behaviour.

The Directorate of Immigration finally ruled that it had no right to deport any of the foreign people who demonstrated summer 2005 against the heavy industry policy of the Icelandic government.

The threats of deportations were in fact nothing but illegal persecution of people who were exercising their democratic rights to protest against the crimes of a highly autocratic and corrupt government. This is exactly what was pointed out in the article ‘Surprise, surprise!‘ as early as September 2005.

No actual deportations of anti-dam protestors took place. Had they taken place they would have been illegal!

People who were on the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration list for possible deportation are all perfectly free to travel back to Iceland.

May 15 2006

All Day Protest Outside the ‘Economist Roundtable for Iceland’ Conference


The conference was organized by the Economist magazine but sponsored by Alcoa and other companies. In the publicity material for the conference, the Economist (in its guise as the ’Economist Intelligence Unit’!) promoted the conference as discussing amongst other things how Iceland can supply all of Europe’s energy needs with clean energy.

In the build up to the conference, outraged Icelanders contacted the Economist and pointed out that even if every drop of energy was squeezed from the land without any other considerations, it would still only produce 1% of Europe’s requirements. Also the energy that will be produced is actually very far from clean energy. In fact its filthy dirty.

The Economist replied that what was in the publicity material was, “marketing-speak geared to creating interest for the event.” They continued, “The journalistic approach from The Economist itself would certainly carry a different, more balanced and researched perspective.”
The unwitting honesty of this reply speaks volumes. Nuff said.

More wriggling and squirming followed about the role of the sponsoring companies, (Just supporting the conference financially, otherwise neutral.) Then they tried to suggest that the conference represented a balance of the opinions on the issues under discussion. Only problem with that being that the, ‘critical’ voice was that of a conservative opposition MP, who had actually supported the dam project wholeheartedly! Read More

Apr 27 2006
13 Comments

ALCOA in Trinidad and Tobago


Trinidad has its own Alcoa Powered Energy Master Plan:

The area around the town of Vessigny, also known as Union Village will get a Aluminum Smelter plus a handful of other gas based industries. The mega acre site is currently totally cleared of all vegetation, people in the surrounding area are asked to move and the contract for delivery of one cash and carry Chinese smelter plant has been signed. An “agreement in principle” has also been signed with Aloca for the Chatham smelter.

The area between (and including) the village of Chatham and Cap de Ville is earmarked for an Alcoa Aluminum Smelter producing 340,000 tons of Aluminum per year. By the way, that is US$10 billion dollars worth of Aluminum which exceeds the entire annual budget of the country by 4 billion. 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

Mar 17 2006
3 Comments

Iceland: Greenpeace’s Shameful Silence


By Merrick

The Icelandic government is planning to destroy the largest remaining intact wilderness in Europe by building the Kárahnjúkar dam. It will be the largest dam of its kind in Europe, creating a reservoir of around 60 sq km. It’s not just that the submerged land will be obliterated, but the land beyond the dam will be deprived of water.

The area is land of huge ecological significance, designated an environmentally protected area, the oldest surviving areas of Iceland’s original vegetation. Around 380 square miles will be directly affected, with adjacent rivers, land and sea secondarily impacted.

To give you some context, it’s a reservoir roughly the size of Oxford with devastating direct impact on a surrounding delicate unspoilt ecosystem the size of Greater London. Read More

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