From Iceland — We Asked The Protestors: What Do You Want To Happen?

We Asked The Protestors: What Do You Want To Happen?

Published April 6, 2016

Photo by
Art Bicnick

We went down to a rainy protest outside of Alþingi tonight (Wednesday 6th of April 2016) and asked the protestors one question: “What do you want to happen?”


“I want this government to step down and an election immediately. They’re saying it can happen in 45 days if the government steps down now.”


“Everybody here wants to see a new government, with a clean slate. What I’d like to see in a utopian world is that if you own over 50 or 100 million krónur, you shouldn’t be in politics. I thought that the ‘bad guy’ politicians were doing what they’re doing because of their philosophy and doctrine—following their own passion. But now we know, it’s all about money for these guys. It’s just business. And it’s easy to pass a law to make more money, but the other parties in Iceland are politicians because it’s their calling. And when people are doing something out of passion, and a feeling for the greater good—that’s something else completely.”


“You can take my picture, but I have nothing smart to say.”


“In the first round of big protests, I was working for the government, so I didn’t protest. I was so polite, you know. But now this second round is about the same things, only worse. It has just continued. The corruption and the vision of society divided between those who have and those who have not… I’m not a protest person, I sit and knit things! But I’ve had enough. I hate it when people are disrespected. No politician has a right to disgrace the people, and that has happened. I will not accept this pat on the head that everything will be okay. I’ve had enough of lies. I know when people are lying. And I want them out.”


Sveinbjörn and Sigurlaug
“We want an election as soon as possible. I’ve heard today that we’ll have it in the autumn, but that’s too long. I want it as soon as possible. That’s the main task of the nation—to get a fair government that will build on humanistic values. We need to restructure things, reinvigorate our healthcare and education system. And that is just not on this government’s agenda.”


“I want to see not just Sigmundur Davíð but also Bjarni Ben resign. Bjarni Ben gave an interview on Kastljós last night, and he was lying straight into Helgi Seljan’s face—it’s just scary how good he is at seeming like he’s talking straight. And how Sigmundur has been behaving is just crazy. He said the President was lying! The events of these last three days have just been ridiculous, and it’s making all of us look ridiculous, too.”


“I want them not to just replace one clown with another.”


“My personal opinion is that the President of Iceland should ask the minority to take control of the ship until we have an election this fall. The majority here has no trust, no momentum—the people don’t want them. We estimate that there were 5000 people at this protest, in the rain, in the middle of the week, with 24 hours of preparation. That states that a new coalition isn’t a solution.”

Read more of our Panama Papers coverage here.

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