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Pence Protest

Band Together to Protest Pence

Eleven organisations have banded together to hold a public protest on the occasion of US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Iceland, Vísir reports. Pence is expected for an official visit to the country tomorrow, where he will meet with Iceland’s Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, among other officials. Protest organisers say they felt compelled to create a platform for locals to express their views on the Trump administration’s policies.

Iceland’s Anti-War Association (Samtök hernaðarandstæðinga), The National Queer Organisation of Iceland, Trans Ísland, The Icelandic Feminist Association (Femínistafélag Íslands), and The Culture and Peace Association (MFÍK), are just a few of the organisations banding together to protest Pence’s visit and policies. The youth wings of the Social Democratic Alliance, Pirate Party, and Left Green Movement are also behind the protest. The Left Green Movement youth wing’s participation is of particular note, as the party’s chairperson and current Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir is one of the officials scheduled to meet with Pence tomorrow.

Focus on military ominous

Guttormur Þorsteinsson, chairman of Iceland’s Anti-War Association, says the protest is intended to send a clear message to both the Icelandic and US governments. He believes military matters will be a focus of Pence’s visit. “All this military preparation that’s been here in Keflavík, bomber aircraft, construction, and such, I think suggests that there is some emphasis in the US government on increased mobilisation here in the Arctic and then trying to get Iceland into that, which we of course find to be a very ominous development,” Guttormur stated.

The event is not only intended for anti-war activists, however. Pence has been a vocal campaigner against the rights of LGBTQ+ people. The Vice President, who has described himself as a “Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order,” once called gay couples a signal of “societal collapse.”

“There are so many things you can disagree with him on,” Guttormur asserted. “LGBTQ+ issues, women’s rights, environmental issues, refugee issues; basically everything this man stands for.”

The protest is scheduled to take place in Austurvöllur, the Parliament square, at 5.30pm tomorrow, September 4.

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