From Iceland — Direct Action Thwarts Ministers’ Entry to Meeting Place

Direct Action Thwarts Ministers’ Entry to Meeting Place

Published December 16, 2008

Direct Action Thwarts Ministers’ Entry to Meeting Place

At 8:45 this morning, about sixty-five participants gathered in front of Iðnó and strolled up to the Ministers’ meeting place at Tjarnargata, with the stated goal of protesting Iceland’s current economic hardships by preventing Ministers to enter their place of work. Police had apparently got wind of the planned direct action, as the demonstrators were faced with an equal number of policemen guarding the premises upon their arrival. Despite governmental resistance, the demonstrators stuck to their guns and lit up red flares. “We just went up there and stuck it to them, we have to constantly remind them that their behavior is not feasible”, says an unnamed demonstrator the Grapevine caught up with.
     As the rattled Ministers snuck in through the back door, or “[…] through the ass,” as the demonstrators aggressively put it, the fierce crowd nipped at them and demanded they resign from their posts. After about an hour of chanting and vulgar booing, the crowd decided to evacuate the place, but the police prevented the peaceful crowd from walking down Tjarnargata, which resulted in a small confrontation between the opposing forces.
    “I don’t blame the police, and I even feel sorry for them, they don’t seem to know what they’re doing and they’re being violated just as much as every other person in Iceland” our source continues but although the police have roughed him up a bit recently he claims has no bad blood towards them. The group scattered as they dawdled down the street, but they will be more visible in near future stated the energetic participant: “We have a lot of things going on, so there’s a lot more to come”
     About two weeks ago, this unlikely composed group of individuals joined forces under the premise of a shared repugnance towards what they describe as an “inadequate government that recently bankrupted our nation.” The assembly has aroused quite the media attention for their vigorous take on direct action and civil disobedience that have often led to clashes with the police. The unnamed group has already famously protested inside the Central Bank and inside the Icelandic House of Parliament, raising the bar for direct action in Iceland.
     Although the local media has depicted the gathering as a synchronized group of some sort, with a determined goal (baring various cooked-up names such as “The Secret Organization of the Street” and “Action, Action”), participants have asserted that this is a misconception; they are simply an assembly of persons driven by a longing for justice rather than shared values or goals. The participants vary likewise between operations so it could be reasoned that this phenomenon shouldn’t really be called a group at all.

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