An MP for the Independence Party had some harsh words for peaceful protesters who assembled outside an annual gala dinner for members of parliament.
Last evening, some 40 protesters gathered outside the Raddison Blu hotel in Reykjavík to greet members of parliament attending a gala dinner that the legislators throw for themselves every year. Andri Sigurðsson, who was involved in the protests, spoke to The Grapevine about the protest, and recorded the following video of Independence Party MP Jón Gunnarsson asking a protester in passing, “Do you need to wear a mask, you loser?”
“Of course it surprised me,” Andri told us. “It’s not very appropriate for someone like him to use this sort of language. I mean, he is an elected official, so he is in fact working for us. Or he’s supposed to be working for us, anyway.” He added that the masks were worn by some to be in keeping with the celebratory nature of the protest; “not to conceal our identities.”
In fact, Jón has been criticised for his collusion with Iceland’s fishing industry captains. For example, Jón has been especially critical of the trade ban against Russia, which includes a halt to exporting fish to the country – however, he received about 1 million ISK in campaign funding from seven fishing companies. All told, fishing companies have given the most money to him of all other candidates.
Andri says the protesters will continue to apply pressure on the ruling coalition. This particular protest was the brainchild of Andþingi (“Anti-parliament”), a public gathering of activists and like-minded people held each weekend at Austurvöllur. The next Andþingi will be held tomorrow at 15:00, again at Austurvöllur.