The number of people protesting in the weekly demonstrations outside the Althingi parliament on Austurvöllur in central Reykjavík increases every week. On Saturday an estimated group of 7,000 people filled the square, compared to 6,000 the week before.
Organizer Hördur Torfason asked attendees to step closer to the stage so that more people would fit into the square. “I have been there on Saturdays for seven weeks. To begin with we were four or five but the situation has changed immensely since then,” Torfason told Morgunbladid, adding that Austurvöllur may soon prove too small a venue.
From the protests on November 15. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Speakers on Saturday included law student Katrín Oddsdóttir. She said that Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde did not want to be oppressed but that he was prepared to oppress the Icelandic nation, claiming that by accepting the terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the nation’s right to present its case to the courts had been given up.
Oddsdóttir also made reference to the claim by the Independence Party (of which Prime Minister Haarde is leader) before the 2007 elections, that solid economic management was the primary welfare issue.
“Now everything has been turned upside down. All of us have been turned upside down and currently the most pressing welfare issue is to remove those from power who mishandled this economic management and have neither shown remorse nor the will to review the values that they espoused,” Oddsdóttir thundered.
Attendees of the demonstration undertook various acts. Feminists dressed the statue of Jón Sigurdsson, Iceland’s independence hero, in pink to represent the poor performance of male leadership in the past years.
The parliamentary building, Iceland’s Althingi, was advertised “for sale” and “sold” to the IMF. There were, however, no conflicts between people and police and the demonstration was considered peaceful.
Click here to read about the demonstrations on November 15.