Protesters who filled the audience balcony inside the halls of parliament grew so loud that the session needed to be cancelled and the attendees vacated.
As the Grapevine reported, supporters of the so-called Reykjavík Nine – a group of protesters who face criminal charges of “attacking parliament” – called upon people to converge on parliament yesterday to call for the charges against the nine to be dropped.
The accused allegedly tried to force their way into parliament in December 2008, resulting in a confrontation with security. Video footage of the incident in question contradicts the official version of events, however, and many Icelanders – including some members of parliament – have called for charges against the nine to be dropped.
Yesterday, police are alleged to have denied some people access into parliament, despite there being room in the audience balcony for more people. Some scuffles were reported, but there were no injuries.
When parliamentary president Ásta R. Jóhannesdóttir began to speak at the opening of the session, people in the audience balcony held nine fingers aloft in a show of support for the accused. Then others began to yell so loudly that parliament could not continue, and a recess was called. Security then vacated everyone from the balcony, and parliament resumed again.
MP for The Movement Birgitta Jónsdóttir told Grapevine yesterday, “If someone was injured [during the 2008 incident], and if there was violence involved, then that is a different story. 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.”
For more on the Reykjavík Nine, read Grapevine’s coverage of the matter, and visit the homepage of the Nine’s supporters.