My Colours, My Honour

My Colours, My Honour

Published February 20, 2009

Former Grapevine Editor Valur Gunnarsson explains the colour schemes he employs in his piece on the Rainbow Revolution, and why he calls it that.

Red: Usually denotes Socialists, who have their own party, Rauður vettvangur. Though few in numbers, they have large flags that have been very apparent at the Saturday protests. Can also indicate the current Red-Green coalition, though this does not include the hard-core socialists.

Green: Here, as elsewhere, green indicates nature conservationists. Although Greens as such were not very apparent in the recent revolution, many protesters, particularly anarchists, first cut their chops protesting against the Kárahnjúkar dam. Green is also used by current government party The Left-Greens.

Blue: Traditionally the colour of Royalty, here the party colour of the Independence Party. Those that wore blue armbands during the protests were not, however, IP members, but off duty policemen who had cut their old police shirts into ribbons. They were mainly protesting against violence.

Black: The anarchists wave black flags and also, for the most part, wear black clothes, covering their faces with hoods. The anarchists not only want to change the government, but to do away with it completely. Their latest ploy to that end is to lie to polltakers, and hence disrupt the system from within.

White: On the evening of January 23rd, white strings had been tied to every lamppost downtown. What this indicated became apparent the next day, when a group called Nýtt lýðveldi (New Republic) announced its existence at the Saturday protests. The group demands an extra-Parliamentary government and a new constitution. Some of their demands have been met, as two of the new Ministers are non-political experts, and a new constitution is set to be written this year.

Pink: Used by feminists, in this case The Women’s Emergency Government. For a while, even the statue of founding father Jón Sigurðsson was spotted wearing pink. The 500 krónur. bill that bears his mug is, after all, pink-ish. The WEG wanted an extra-parliamentary government, made up of as many women as men. The current government actually abides by this demand. The WEG officially became a political party on January 29th, and will, ironically enough, run against the country’s first female Prime Minister. Writer Hallgrímur Helgason is a fan. Pink is also used by gays, for example on the cover of protest organiser Hörður Torfason’s new biography.

Orange: Those who want to overthrow the government by non-violent means, such as banging on pots and pans. Taken by some to mean simply being against violence. Why Orange? This was not a reference to the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, much less Holland or Protestants in Northern Ireland. Orange was initially meant to be the colour of a website run by the grassroots movements who have their headquarters on Borgartún. Why? “Because all the other colours are taken,” said one of the arrangers.

Yellow and Brown: Perhaps you should watch Reservoir Dogs again, to see why those two colours remain unpopular when colour coding.


Mag
Articles
Two Days Of Criminal Activity

Two Days Of Criminal Activity

by

People thought we were nuts at the time, when in reality we were suffering from good old Icelandic gung-ho enthusiasm. This year, we ought to know better. Three of us—Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Ragnar Jónasson and I—got together last year to organise a small crime fiction festival in Reykjavík. After all, how hard could it be? We had all been to a few of these, and it didn’t look like it could be all that much of a headache. It had seemed odd to us that Iceland didn’t have its own crime fiction festival. After all, there are plenty of them elsewhere.

Mag
Articles
A New Wave Of Protests

A New Wave Of Protests

by

Tension has been rising in Iceland of late. An estimated 4,500 people attended a general protest against the government on November 4, almost completely filling Austurvöllur by Alþingi. This marks it as one of the biggest demonstrations this year. The event was initially inspired by a Facebook rant from singer-songwriter Svavar Knútur, wherein he bemoaned the current coalition government’s favouritism of the rich and powerful. Instigator Svavar Knútur began the demonstration by addressing the crowd. In his speech—which has been widely shared across social media since the event—he likened the rally to the first of three warnings his father used to

Mag
Articles
Arrest, Injury, Aftermath

Arrest, Injury, Aftermath

by

Standing by the door of a two-storey building in the Höfði industrial district and not finding a doorbell, I call Chaplas Menke, who says he’ll come down to let me in. My interview subject made local headlines this September, after being reportedly brutalised by the police. Since then, the story has gone quiet. A short while later, he invites me to his abode. He is of average height, dark-skinned, with sunken eyes and a svelte frame. He has a thick accent and speaks hesitatingly, picking his words carefully. I ask him how he’s doing, and he modestly says okay as

Mag
Articles
News In Brief: November

News In Brief: November

by

Icelanders have once again grown fed up with their elected representatives, staging a massive protest demonstration in front of Alþingi last Monday. Thousands stood at Austurvöllur, Reykjavík’s hip spot for protest meetings, to denounce a veritable cornucopia of bad policy decisions (police estimated 4,500 attendees at the protest, while some attendees estimated that they were in fact closer to 7,000). This particular time around, the political party actually leading the country–in this case, the Progressives–have most recently polled at just under 9%. Remember, folks: the last time a ruling coalition stepped down, it was because one party didn’t want to

Mag
Articles
Who’s Afraid Of November 9?

Who’s Afraid Of November 9?

by

After DV revealed that the police had just acquired some 150 submachine guns from Norway, Chief Superintendent Jón Bjartmarz—who refused to answer any of the newspaper’s questions—explained on RÚV’s Kastljós that they have possessed machine guns “ever since after the Gúttó-fight.” “The Gúttó-fight” was a violent clash between police and workers, who were protesting announced wage reductions, back in 1932. The reference is as significant as they get. An Icelandic State Police authority, as opposed to a municipal one, was established in the aftermath of that fight, to ensure that authorities would henceforth have the upper hand against demonstrators. This

Mag
Articles
Pippa’s Wish

Pippa’s Wish

by

A particularly heart-warming story made the rounds recently when a crowdfunding campaign called “Pippa’s Wish” hit its required target, after a month online. The GoFundMe campaign was started by family friend Tamara Antonelli Comerford to take Pippa—a disabled seven-year-old Sigur Rós fan from Missouri, who suffered a stroke at birth that left her with Cerebral Palsy, among other medical conditions—on the family holiday of a lifetime. During an extended convalescence after an operation to reshape her pelvis and straighten her legs, Pippa was in severe pain, but responded with fascination to the soothing beauty of Sigur Rós’ tour documentary ‘Heima’,

Show Me More!