MP Beats Barrels in Protest outside Iceland’s Parliament Skip to content

MP Beats Barrels in Protest outside Iceland’s Parliament

While MPs discussed the budget for 2011—which assumes an ISK 33 billion (USD 295 million, EUR 213 million) cut—inside the Althingi parliament yesterday, MP for The Movement Birgitta Jónsdóttir was among protestors beating barrels on Austurvöllur square outside the parliamentary building.

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Birgitta Jónsdóttir. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

According to visir.is, Jónsdóttir is currently on a payless leave from Althingi so she can focus on protesting. The Movement has called for new parliamentary elections.

The Movement was born in the 2008-2009 protests and had four MPs elected to parliament in the elections in April 2009.

Although not many people showed up at yesterday’s protests, demonstrators were loud, according to a journalist for Stöd 2 and visir.is reporting from Althingi. At 2 pm there were around ten people on Austurvöllur beating barrels.

According to Morgunbladid, the number of protestors grew steadily, peaking at 80-90. People kept beating barrels and some drivers who drove past the parliament honked their horns in support.

The demonstration was peaceful. However, around 12:30 am, long after the demonstration ended, some people were spotted throwing rocks at the parliament.

Police arrested two suspected perpetrators but they maintained their innocence and were eventually released, visir.is reports.

Helgi Gunnlaugsson, professor at the University of Iceland Institute of Social Sciences, told Morgunbladid that underlying rage is causing the protests; people feel there is discrimination in society, that capital owners are treated better by the banks and government than ordinary citizens.

Click here to read about Monday’s protests on Austurvöllur, where 7,000-8,000 people are estimated to have demonstrated.

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