Over a dozen protesters of the Reydarfjördur aluminum smelter in east Iceland entered the building site this morning, and two of those have climbed a 40-50-meter high building crane, on which they have attached a banner with slogans. Others have chained themselves to machinery. At the time of posting, actions were still ongoing. Police are on the scene and have arrested a few of the group. There are windy conditions in the area and the actions are thought to pose a safety risk, Morgunbladid online reports.
Most of the protesters involved are thought to be foreigners. A press release from a group that calls itself Saving Iceland states that the protesters are a group of environmentalists whose goal is to call attention to the threat that Iceland’s nature, cultural heritage and democracy are under as a result of Alcoa’s operations. Aluminum giant Alcoa is behind the smelter currently under construction.
According to Morgunbladid, two protesters were sitting by the side of the road this morning, watching their comrades up on the building crane, when a car pulled up and poured a two-liter bottle of coca-cola over them before driving away. Clashes between protesters and the general public have escalated in the area over the past few days. On Monday, protesters stormed an engineering firm in Reydarfjördur, closed all exits, and left only upon hearing that police were on their way.