The Occupy Reykjavík movement launched its first direct action this afternoon with a peaceful protest at Landsbanki bank on Austurstræti. The small group carried in signs with messages such as “Give us money” and then quietly walked out less than an hour later.
The aim of today’s action, as participant Þórarinn Einarsson informed me, was to initiate discussions regarding Landsbanki’s actions after the crisis and to test Landsbanki on their claim of social responsibility and talking to the public.
This was intended to be the first of many direct actions taken to raise awareness for the movement and to open up discussion between the 99% and the 1%. Another participant, Jason, who has lived in Iceland for three years, said this emphasis on discussion is an important part of the movement.
Thus he said the focus of the people’s assembly, which will be held at 17:30 daily in the occupied Austurvöllur Square, is to engage with the rest of the 99% and to determine what it is that people actually want to accomplish.
At the same time, he emphasised that this is part of a worldwide movement with people from all walks of life getting involved, and that even though there are localised occupations, that this is a global response to what is ostensibly a global problem.
The movement intends to continue, and views its occupation of Austurvöllur and today’s direct action as just the beginning of something bigger. Their next direct action will be a march around the banks of downtown Reykjavík (including The Central Bank) this Wednesday.