Photographer Jóhann Þröstur Pálmason – AKA SvarTTrast – was present at Austurvöllur on the eve of Tuesday 20.01.2009. This is the fateful night as seen through his lens:
Thousands were gathered outside the house of parliament.
Some brought along leftover fireworks from New Year’s Eve.
And a mighty bonfire was lit.
Protestors brought firewood for the bonfire from around town.
Pots were banged. So were pans and drums.
Some danced around the fire, Druid-style.
The sign depicts a pig (maybe Animal Farm’s Napoleon?) bearing the sign of the Independence Party. The caption reads “Enemies of the people”, quoting Ibsen’s play (“Folkefjenden”).
“We all vomit”
Drummers brought their drums.
The police tried rescuing Austurvöllur’s benches to safety, so they would not be thrown on the fire by the agitated crowd.
They weren’t always successful.
The cops sported riot gear courtesy of Minister of Justice Björn Bjarnason.
A lot of folks threw food at the cops. This is should be regarded as severely uncool behaviour against the working man.
They also threw food at the house of parliament. As it hasn’t been working for a while, that sort of behaviour has been deemed OK.
As the need for firewood grew, the crowd set it’s sights on Austurvöllur’s Christmas tree.
Here they are, pulling that tree down.
Still not fallen.
Now it’s burning.
It still burns…
We have lots more pictures and videos to upload in the next days (including an awesome set from Wednesday’s protest), so check back. Again, if you have anything you’d like to submit (words, pictures, video clips, etc.), contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.