A Grapevine service announcement Be patient: That eruption is expected to last until 2015

Reykjavík Nine Trial: Policeman Called “Idiot”, MPs Not Bothered, Witness Asks To Be Charged With Crime

Published January 20, 2011

The second day of the Reykjavík Nine trial continues to never have a dull moment.
Police who had arrived at parliament on the day that nine protesters allegedly tried to force their way into the building testified yesterday. Officer Ellert Björn Svavarsson said that they had received a call that parliament had been attacked. Upon arrival and entering the building, they discovered that “there were undesirable people in the parliament gallery”. Several arrests were made, with charges including not following a police order.
One police officer who testified, Guðmundur Ingi Rúnarsson, has been accused by the protesters of using excessive force. He allegedly struck Andra Lemarqui in the face several times at the time of the arrest. When asked whether this was true, he told the court that he did not recall doing so.
“You never remember anything!,” someone shouted from the court. “Damned idiot!”
Defence attorney Ragnar Aðalsteinsson asked Guðmundur Ingi why only these nine were arrested. The officer explained that the nine had been violent. When Ragnar then asked what the situation was like outside of parliament, among the crowds of protests, the officer responded, “It was worse.”
Another witness for the defence was Lárus Páll Birgisson, who also took part in the protests of December 2008 and had also attempted to enter parliament, but was never charged with a crime. The defence is taking the position that if the nine charged had committed a crime, then this raises the question of why the close to 30 others who did the same thing were not charged.
Lárus took the stand and gave his testimony of events that day. When the questions were finished, Lárus said, “Wait, is that it? I should also be charged.”
The judge told Lárus that this was neither the time nor the place for such a statement. “Am I not in a courtroom?,” Lárus responded, provoking laughter in the crowd.
Another witness who testified was Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson, who at the time of the incident was Minister of Industry, and was in the halls of parliament that day.
Össur displayed his trademark way with words by saying that when police had come to arrest the nine, he had heard shouting, but that he heard much more shouting that day from the parliamentary podium itself.
He also testified that he himself had visited the parliamentary gallery in his younger days, and in fact held his first public speech from that gallery. He added that he had not been arrested for the event.
Einar K. Guðfinnsson, another MP who was in the halls of parliament that day, testified that he was not particularly afraid when the nine protesters in question appeared in the gallery.
Today there are protests scheduled in front of parliament at 11:00. If Facebook activity is any indication, many are expected to attend.
Related:
Trial Of Reykjavík Nine Continues: Yesterday’s Trial Reaches Surreal Proportions, Prime Minister Calls It “Sad”
Reykjavík Nine Trial: Evidence Destroyed
Trial Of Reykjavík Nine Begins Today
Liveblog from the trial (in English)



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Police Fail To Withhold Names And Identities

by

Police have disclosed an internal report about its actions and organization during public demonstrations in the advent and aftermath of the 2008 ecomonic crash, including events related to the uprising known as the “kitchenware revolution”. This is in accordance to a ruling made by the Information Access Complaint Board last week. The board ruled that the report should be disclosed as demanded by author and activist Eva Hauksdóttir since 2012, while the identity, names and addresses of various individuals and officers involved should be withheld. After distributing three copies of the report to select media outlets, the Police were made

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

110 Earthquakes In 24 Hours

by

Vísir reports that, during 24 hours from Friday morning to early Saturday, 110 earthquakes were measured in and around Bárðarbunga. Seven of those measured at or over magnitude 4 on the Richter-scale. The biggest in the series was of magnitude 5.2 shortly before two o’clock Saturday morning. Bárðarbunga has been in eruption for close to two months now, or since August 29th. Twenty minor earthquakes were measured around mount Herðubreið, none over magnitude 2.

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Gas Pollution Blows West on Saturday, East on Sunday

by

The Met Office predicts volcanic gas pollution around the Western, North-Western and South-Western coasts and inlands on Saturday. On Sunday gas pollution is expected on the Southern-East coast and inlands. The Met Office has introduced an online interactive visualizer of its gas pollution forecast model. The Met Office warns that this model is still in development and that predicted levels of SO2 output are imprecise.

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Pasha’s 4th Day on Hunger Strike

by

Today, Adam Ibrahim Pasha concludes the fourth day of his hunger strike, which commenced Tuesday. The hunger strike is in protest of the Directorate of Immigration’s (UTL’s) recent decision not to review his application for asylum. Pasha says he will rather die than be deported. Earlier today, he said he felt weak and in need of hospital care. Social services will supposedly visit him today, but at the time of this writing it remained unclear if they would be accompanied by a doctor. [Update:] Pasha was visited by social services today, as well as medical staff, which arrived by ambulance.

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Former PM Regrets 1968 Racist Remarks

by

Former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde says that regrets and feels ashamed by racist remarks he made in a school paper at the age of 17. Geir’s article, “Maladies in our Society” resurfaced earlier this year. Its final paragraphs consist of explicitly racist remarks, including: “… I want to mention the highly increased blood-mixing of people of color and Icelanders. I think that such mixing is, to say the least, highly undesirable and unhealthy. The results of mistakes made by nitwits in these matters can be horrendous.” And so on. When the paper came under public scrutiny, last January, Geir

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Blacked Out Street Lights For Better View Of Northern Lights

by

An employee of a travel service recently extinguished all street lighting by Kleppjárnsreykir, in the inlands of Borgarfjörður, by aiming a flashlight at their light-sensor controller. Apparently he did this to give a group of tourists a clearer view of the northern lights at play. According to Skessuhorn, a local news medium, this created great danger for the people who stood on the road to observe the sky, insufficiently visible to drivers, in the dark. Police authorities in Borgarfjörður received a complaint about the incident. The rhapsodic tourist guide told police that he had taken care that the travellers did

Show Me More!