María Lilja Þrastardóttir, journalist/provocateur
The year 2014 has left me asking what it really means to be Icelandic, and whether that might be something I should feel embarrassed about. Because looking back, I kinda do.
For Iceland, last year was marked by a plethora of major scandals, especially in the fields of politics and law enforcement. We witnessed our politicians and oligarchs make sickening attempts to shut down any and every attempt at investigative journalism. We were subjected to the nature pass, attempts to militarise our police force, Biggi the cop, Hanna Birna, livestock farmers’ systematic mistreatment of animals, a corrupt dairy monopoly, the Progressive Party… the list goes on. And on. And on.
We also witnessed the collapse of the Icelandic healthcare system as our government diverted funds to a small group of homeowners, to enforce a so-called “correction.”
We are now learning that the our the State Church will also get its very own “correction” from the state, while thinly veiled nationalists (fascists?) try their best to stir up fear against Muslims, mosques, and anyone of foreign descent (along with “foreign food” (?!?)).
These are some dangerous times, for Iceland and for the rest of the world. I sincerely hope that the year 2015 will be the year of public uprising, where we unite to fight corruption, racism and inequality.
May the force be with us!