From Iceland — Why Am I A Pirate? We Speak To The Pirate Party Grassroots

Why Am I A Pirate? We Speak To The Pirate Party Grassroots

Published November 22, 2015

Why Am I A Pirate? We Speak To The Pirate Party Grassroots
Rebecca Conway

Bergþór Heimir Þórðarson (36), Reykjavík, secretary of the Pirate Party of Reykjavík, substitute in the Pirate Party executive committee, and organiser in Pirate grassroots and healthcare form/reform
First and foremost, it is the party most likely to succeed in changing our government and how it works for the better—opening it up so people know exactly what the government is talking about and exactly what they’re doing. What also drew me to the party was its open attitude towards new people. Ultimately, I expect and insist on the government providing good healthcare, good social services and so on. In that regard, I’m more to the left. But I’m more to the right with regard to liberties. And that’s what I find in the Pirate Party.

Hafþór Sævarsson

Hafþór Sævarsson (26), Reykjavík, Law Student & President of Ungir Píratar (“Young Pirates”)
I was fascinated with the whole concept of civil liberties and trying to make this system of ours more human. I was pulled in this direction by the human rights aspect and the democratic philosophy around it, in part due to my family history—my father is Sævar Ciesielski [Sævar’s tragic story is well known in Iceland. As a young man, Sævar was the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice carried out by the state]. Also, the democratic philosophy around it; the party can give more power to people, and not just by implementing government policies, but by fixing how we organize ourselves as a collective.

Margrét Sæunn Hannesdóttir (65) Bolungarvík, involved in the Pirate Party’s Westfjords membership committee
There are a lot of things about the Pirate Party that appeal to me. I have kids and grandkids, and if this party helps, then I can sleep easy because I’ve changed the system for my children. I voted for parties who wanted to change the fishing system, but didn’t. The Pirate Party is my last hope. I truly believe they’ll be able to change it. Then I can rest, because if they change it, it’s a better world for my children and my grandchildren.

Hólmfríður Bjarnadóttir

Hólmfríður Bjarnadóttir (70) Ásbrú, Pirate Party member
I had been following the Pirates because they are new and because my son is a computer scientist. I realised I didn’t belong with the Social Democrats, and after thinking about it I decided to become a Pirate, because I can see they’re on the path that Iceland needs to be on. That includes changing the constitution, increasing democracy and getting rid of the party trench warfare that’s suffocating the country. I feel like it can’t go on any more, we have to do something different, rather than letting the old factions walk all over us again.

Halldóra Mogensen

Halldóra Mogensen, 1979, Reykjavík, Pirate Party Deputy MP
I’ve been involved in the Pirate Party since their second or third meeting in 2012. I was really interested in this idea of a completely different society, and I wanted to be a part of figuring that out. Or at least creating platforms for people to figure that out. I believe that a basic income is the best way to get people to participate more in their surroundings—to create a democracy where people make informed decisions and participate in a direct democracy. You have to buy them time, and for me a basic income is all about that.

This piece is part of our in depth feature on The Pirate Party, which you can read here.

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