From Iceland — Review Opened Into Police Clash With Pro-Palestine Protesters

Review Opened Into Police Clash With Pro-Palestine Protesters

Published June 5, 2024

Photo by
Catharine Fulton/The Reykjavík Grapevine

Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson (Left-green MP) has launched a review of police conduct during a protest on Skuggasund on May 31. Pro-Palestine protesters gathered outside government offices that morning were engaging in peaceful protest when police officers began indiscriminately spraying them with pepper spray, alleging the protesters failed to follow police instructions.

As reported on, capital region police immediately requested the body cam footage of the officers on duty during the protest. This was noted in a memo presented by Minister of Justice Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir (Independence Party MP) during a cabinet meeting on Monday.

Between 20 and 30 people were exposed to pepper spray during the altercation between protesters and police officers, which escalated when protesters lay down in the street to block the passage of a government minister’s vehicle. Those involved in the protest noted that ministers had typically used the back door of the building to depart meetings, as there is a private parking lot there that protesters were not blocking. Police seemingly decided to usher ministers into the path of protesters instead.

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