Daniel P. Scarneccia visited Iceland during the Rainbow Revolution. Below is his take. He enclosed this letter with the photos (note that after drinking coffee in the States, we highly disagree with his coffee-comment):
I’m an American who just finished up his first visit to Iceland. I’m
be the first to admit that I’m taking advantage of the weakness of the
Icelandic Krona. While typically a weekend in Iceland might have been
within my reach, nine days certainly wasn’t, until October. I must
say that I my vacation turned out very different from what I
expected. Granted, I found everything I was told to expect. Beautiful
scenery, beautiful (and friendly) people. I visited museums and did
the Golden Circle tour. I found delicious food, a lot of history, and
a lot people getting crazy drunk on the weekends. Your beer sort of
sucks and costs a lot, but granted, it was banned until 20 years ago,
and I’m sure you have to import most of the ingredients. You’ll
figure it out, though I’m sure it’s not near the top of anyones list
of priorities. Oh, and you guys have awesome coffee.
I also found myself in the middle of a revolution, or something along
those lines. I had heard about the protests, but I never expected the
level of activism I found in Reykjavík. On Tuesday, as I was sitting
down in a pub on Austurstræti to watch Barack Obama’s inauguration,
Austurvollur was filling with people of all ages, demanding the ouster
of a government which has mired the nation in debts which the people
are going to be forced to repay. Instead of spending hours in museums
and on tours, I spent hours deep in chanting crowds, taking hundreds
of photographs of them instead of the scenery. I met activists,
anarchists, philosophers, communists, and men and women from of all
walks of life. All of whom were willing to take a moment and explain
their view of the situation. I found myself writing and twittering
about the situation, often pulling out my laptop in the middle of the
street to write about the situation. Friends at home informed me of
the international media’s notable lack of reporting on the situation.
I’m regretting leaving on Sunday, I should have extended my stay. It
seems if I had, I would have gotten to see the government fall. It
was all pretty inspirational. Successful direct action is incredible
to watch and take part in, and it seldom happens, especially back here
in the States.
My vacation turned out to be nothing but average. It was pretty
incredible. I’ve already booked a flight back for March, and I’m
trying to sort out a way to come live in Reykjavík for the summer,
though I’m sure the last thing you guys want is cheeky Americans
coming and taking your jobs.
All that aside, the point of this odd e-mail is to share my
photographs of the protests with you.
Let’s face it, you guys probably have thousands of photographs from
local photographers, but I’m hoping for the cheap thrill of seeing my
photographs in print or published on the web by someone other than
myself. It’s also a lame attempt to impress the woman in the orange
scarf with her fist raised, because while I got her name and contact
information, I didn’t have the fortitude to ask her to coffee before I
left. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to work, but at least I’m not
kidding myself. They’re all licensed Creative Commons Attribute, I
hope you can use some of them.
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