Police Use Pepper Spray on Protesters Outside Parliament Skip to content

Police Use Pepper Spray on Protesters Outside Parliament

By Erik Pomrenke

palestine protests alþingi
Photo: Erik. February 2024.

Police used pepper spray on protesters outside Alþingi last night, June 12. A Pirate Party MP reports that the protest had been peaceful and that the pepper spray was deployed when the vehicle of a government minister needed to leave Alþingi.

Last chance to protest

Pro-Palestinian activists organized a demonstration in front of Alþingi, Iceland’s parliament, last night. As Alþingi will soon go into its summer recess, it was the last chance for demonstrators to be heard for this session of parliament.

Pro-Palestinian activists were also joined by anti-whaling activists protesting Minister of  Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir’s recent decision to grant Hvalur hf. a one-year whaling permit.

Several Pirate Party MPs present

RÚV reports that several MPs from the Pirate Party were also present for the peaceful demonstration, including Andrés Ingi Jónsson. He stated to RÚV that the demonstrators could be heard throughout the entire parliamentary session.

“When we arrived, people had gathered near Dómkirkja church and then positioned themselves in front of the entrance to the parking garage, where they were just beating drums and shouting slogans,” he stated to RÚV.  “Shortly after that, the police started to try to disperse the group, and, in my opinion, resorted to pepper spray rather quickly instead of trying to calm the situation.”

Minister’s car tried to leave

Another Pirate Party MP, Gísli Rafn Ólafsson, was present when the pepper spray was used on the protesters. He stated to RÚV that the demonstration had been peaceful and that the escalation in the use of force by police officers seems to have coincided with a minister’s (reportedly Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson) vehicle attempting to leave Alþingi.

Andrés Ingi stated to RÚV that he did not see specifically whose vehicle was leaving Alþingi, but that he found it “quite severe to resort to pepper spray just to let some cars pass.”

Many children and elderly people were also reportedly at the scene.

 

 

 

 

 

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