The first night of “The Voice of the People”, a karaoke marathon being held to raise signatures for a petition to try and put natural resources in public ownership, was a star-studded affair that has already attracted thousands of signatures.
The event, organised by artist Björk Guðmundsdóttir and others, is a karaoke marathon open to everyone, running from 15:00 to midnight today and tomorrow at the Nordic House. The aim is to raise 35,000 signatures for a petition at orkuaudlindir.is, which calls upon the government to stop the sale of HS Orka to Magma Energy (which the government can legally do, citing eminent domain) and to open a public referendum on the ownership of natural resources. Before the contest, the petition had already amassed some 20,000 signatures in a few months. Since the start of the contest, the petition has garnered over 27,000 signatures at the time of this writing.
National handball player Ólafur Stefánsson, who was one of the panelists at the press conference that kicked off the event, told Vísir that the question of whether natural resources should be in public ownership or be available to private entities had compelled him to de-register from the Independence Party, as their platform has always been pro-privatisation.
The musical portion of the event began with a duet with Björk and environmentally-conscious journalist Ómar Ragnarsson. Shortly thereafter, Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr and Sigurjón Kjartansson – who was his long-time partner in the comedy duo Tvíhöfði – also performed a song. They declared the song to be “the best song in the world”.
Björk told reporters that neither she nor others behind the event intend to stop until they reach 35,00 signatures.
If you agree with the position the organisers are taking, we encourage anyone and everyone to sign the petition. All you need is a name, and an Icelandic identity number (kennitala). And of course, if you want to take part in the marathon, feel free – amateurs and professionals alike are welcome, and there are some 60,000 songs to choose from.
Karaoke For Nature Off To Great Start
Björk And Ómar Ragnarsson To Sing Duet
Karaoke For Nature