Deep North Episode 16: What a Riot Skip to content
NATO protest 1949
Photo: Ólafur K. Magnússon.

Deep North Episode 16: What a Riot

On March 30, 1949, a large crowd convened behind a school in central Reykjavík. They were protesting the government’s decision to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organi­sation, then in its infancy. Once a sizeable throng had formed, the group marched on Alþingi, Iceland’s parliament. They were met by a group of NATO supporters who had surrounded the parliament building, in­tending to defend it. A riot erupted between the two groups, who only dispersed after police deployed tear gas. Five days later, NATO was officially formed, with Iceland among its founding members.

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