In October of 2008 it became evident that a group of people with economical and political powers had ruined Iceland’s economic system, making the country bankrupt by relentlessly attacking it from the inside. Iceland “crashed” just like Argentina a few years earlier. Public protests, direct actions and mass demonstrations grew in numbers by the week.
On December 8th, a group of just over thirty people came to visit the Parliament. Their intentions were to exercise their civil rights to enter the public benches, built for subordinates to observe the elected officials at work. There they wanted to read out a statement expressing a dissent of Parliament and its public servants, namely the governing parliamentarians.
The staff of Alþingi and police tried their best to keep the people from getting there, resulting in pushing and shoving in the staircase. Two people did manage to get up to the benches and shout out the message of the statement in a nutshell: “Get out! Get the fuck out! This house does not serve its purpose any longer!”
Forty days, many demonstrations and actions later, where that same demand was delivered by the shouting and acting of thousands of people, right outside that same house, under the banging beat of pots, drums and pans, the government “got the fuck out”.
Solidarity with The Reykjavík 9
Two years later, the aftermath of Iceland´s crash, and the so-called Kitchenware Revolution of the people’s mass movement, is evident in the courts.
Nine people are on trial, seemingly picked at random out of the group of the thirty or so that entered Parliament that December-day. They are charged under the 100th article of Icelandic penal law, for “attacking” the Parliament. For the first time since 1949, when riots took place because of Iceland’s joining NATO, the state is charging people with this article, punishable by a sentence from one year to life in jail, which in Iceland amounts to sixteen years in prison.
The coming Wednesday, December 8th marks the two years anniversary of the visit to Alþingi. In solidarity with The Reykjavík 9 there will be an opportunity to show support by visiting the parliament’s public benches at 14:30, and to have your photo taken with a message of support to post on the support webpage.
Nine people cannot take the fall for a whole movement. Support The Reykjavík 9! They are nine of us! See you at Alþingi, Wednesday December 8, at 14:30.
What: Solidarity + Support
Where: Alþingi, guest entrance
When: December 8th 2010, 14:30