The trial of the nine protesters charged with disobeying police orders in their demonstration against road construction through the Gálgahraun lava field began today.
On this, the first day of the trial, new information is already coming to light.
Vísir reports that one of those charged, Sveinbjörg Vilhjálmsdóttir, has testified that she did not disobey any police orders. Furthermore, she says that when she arrived at the scene of construction equipment and sat down in front of the machinery, police tape was then set up around the protesters. At that point, she testified, police crossed the ribbon and began to carry the protesters out.
Another protester, Viktoría Áskelsdóttir, testified that she did not willfully cross the police ribbon. Rather, she said she was walking near the ribbon when she tripped and fell within the cordoned area. When asked by police if she could walk, she said she could not. At that point, she was carried out and arrested. While police dispute this account, another witness, Eydís Lára Fransdóttir, corroborated the testimony.
Gunnsteinn Ólafson, who was also amongst those arrested, had less than a flattering picture to paint of the actions police took.
“It isn’t right to call it an arrest,” he said. “This was simply a physical attack that
happened to me.”