Today marks the two-year anniversary of the alleged ‘attack on Parliament’ by the ‘Reykjavík Nine’ protesters, who in December 2008 attempted to visit the public benches of Parliament and were involved in a struggle with security. The incident occurred not long before the ‘pots and pans’ protests began in earnest in January 2009, when large groups of protesters invaded the Parliament building for several days.
The ‘Nine’ are accused of having violated the first clause of the 100th article of the penal code, which concerns “attacks against the independence and integrity” of Parliament. If charged, the Nine could face a minimum penalty of one year in prison, and a maximum of life behind bars.
Supporters of the Reykjavík Nine have called for a showing of solidarity today on the spectator benches in Parliament at 14:30 to “make it clear to MPs and others that we’re following the case, and that nine people can’t take the fall for the many who were involved in the opposition movement born in winter 2008-2009,” according to their website.
Birgitta Jónsdóttir, one of the members of Parliament who believes that the charges against the Nine should be dropped, says that it is “incredible” and “unjust” that the focus of wrongdoing should center on these nine individuals. “If someone was injured, and if there was violence involved, then that is a different story” says Birgitta. “But the decision for who to charge was so random that it seems to me that the issue is first and foremost politically motivated. This is political persecution.”
Says Birgitta of today’s protest, “I might just join them up on the benches if I get bored down there.”
For more information on the Reykjavík 9 solidarity movement, visit their website.
For more on the issue, see Grapevine’s feature.