Protests in front of parliament last night swelled to about 8,000 people by some reports, as parliament officially convened for the fall session. Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir told reporters that she “takes the protests seriously,” and has called upon party leaders to meet together first thing this morning.
About 8,000 people gathered in front of parliament, for the most part voicing protest against what they see as a lack of action from the government in doing what they can to relieve the financial burden of the average Icelandic household. While for the most part peaceful, some minor injuries were reported, three among police. A few protesters attempted to tear down a barrier that police had put up around the parliamentary building. While there were no arrests, some people did have to be escorted from the scene by police, including conservative alternate MP Óli Björn Kárason.
People on the scene with cameras, and those following at home on Facebook or watching webcams, also reported seeing at least two neo-fascist flags being waved (here and here).
Addressing reporters at the conclusion of parliament, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir said that she takes the protests seriously, and has asked all party chairpeople to meet first thing this morning. “I am extending the hand of agreement [to the protesters] because it is very important, and I think that is the demand here in this house [of parliament], that we band together and find a solution for people deeply in debt.”
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