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Protests and Direct Action against the Govt in Iceland.

category scandinavia / denmark / iceland | anarchist movement | other libertarian press author Tuesday December 23, 2008 10:02author by Anon Report this post to the editors

The Capitalism dream appears to be over in Iceland

As the situation gets worse by the day in Iceland and unemployment rises steadily, the people of Iceland are becoming increasingly angry and are already moving from looking for answers to taking Direct Action themselves.

Now that the country is completely broke it is clear capitalism has failed them and there has been a significant increase in Anarchist ideas that is taking hold amongst the population.

As a result of the financial crisis, Iceland's three main banks have been taken over by the government and the tax payer is now left holding the bag. The amount of debt owed is something like 7 times its GNP. The IMF has already moved in and begun imposing its usual medicine.

In the past few months as unemployment has steadily climbed and prices have increase since the currency has lost value, people began protesting. Initially they were looking for answers from the government but when these weren't forthcoming, the protests began to take a more Direct Action approach.

As described in the article (linked below), here is an account of how things are changing:

For more than 2 months people have gathered weekly in a park in front of the parliament. The first protests demanded that the government would “break it’s silence” about the current situation. People were tired of not even being told about what was happening and what the government was doing about it.

But soon people realized that it was not enough to ask the government to speak, so the protests took up another and more radical demand: the resign of the government and new elections as soon as possible. The government has completely ignored this demand and people are getting more and more angry.

Anarchists and other radical leftists have come to most of the protests, but not to protest against the economic situation, not to ask the government for solutions, not to ask for new elections, not to ask any member of the government or parliament or any other official institution to do anything to “solve” the crisis we are facing. But to spread anarchistic and anti-capitalistic information among people, analyse the problems of authority and capitalism and to encourage Icelandic people to take direct action against the forces of corruption.

Later in the same article, it describes how this situation advanced even more in the weeks ahead of that time:

A week later, a big demonstration parade went through the center of Reykjavík, demanding the resign of the government. Anarchists, which grew bigger and stronger every week, joined the march with banners, black flags, leaflets about direct actions, and anarchistic slogans. While other protesters chanted “Away with the government”, anarchists shouted “Never again government!”

....Couple of meters away from the park were the protests take place, a Food Not Bombs groups has been giving away food every Saturday for the last 8 or 9 months. Food Not Bombs has for sure had it’s effect of the walking-by Icelanders, who are getting more curious and interested in alternative solutions to the problems of capitalism.

If you follow the link below and read the rest of the article it details how in yet another protest, someone climbed onto the roof of a local supermarket to plant a flag and the 'flagman' was arrested but later rescued from the police station by the crowd where a bit of a riot broke out and the now usual pepper spray was used against people.

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