Wednesday, January 05, 2011

International week of actions in solidarity with the Reykjavik Nine 10th - 16th of January 2011

Jan. 3, 2011 Anarchist News

An international week of actions has been called for 10th - 16th of
January, 2011 in support of the Reykjavik Nine, nine individuals including
anarchists and radical leftists, who face up to 16 years in prison for
protest against the Icelandic parliament.

In December 2008 the bullet that killed Alexandros Grigoropoulos set fire
to the streets of Athens, a fire that soon spread to every city across
Greece. That same December on the opposite shore of Europe, in Iceland
another revolt was already under way born out of the wreckage of the
economy that had collapsed that fall. In the winter of 2008, Iceland, the
first ‘victim’ of this global crisis, was witness to the largest
mobilization in its history. Demonstrations, mass gatherings and popular
assemblies, direct action and confrontation on a daily basis and finally
mass riots managed to bring down the right wing government at the time.
But, just like in Greece that bullet was only one cause to a revolt that
had a thousand reasons behind it, in Iceland the bubble that burst that
fall was only the spark for the pent up rage and frustration resulting
from two decades of neoliberal government - and well, against the
political and economic system in its entirety.

As we speak, the Icelandic state threatens with imprisonment nine
individuals chosen to be the scapegoats of the uprising that brought down
the government in January 2009.
They are the Reykjavik Nine.

On the 8th of December 2008 and while thousands of people had taken to the
streets of Greek cities, in Reykjavik, Iceland, a group of 30 people
stormed the Parliament in order to interrupt the proceedings and read out
a statement of protest. Despite the fact that entrance to the public
benches of Parliament is open to all, the police, along with the guards,
blocked the entrance and detained the group on the staircase while only
two of the 30 people managed to get to the benches. After some minor
scuffles few persons were arrested and the rest were let go.

A year later, the authorities targeted nine out of these 30 people. The
charge, among others, is that they “posed a threat to the independence of
the Parliament” and the potential sentence is from one year up to life in

This action was merely one out of a plethora of actions that took place on
a daily basis in Iceland on the winter of 2008: mass protests, home
‘visits’ to ministers and bankers, sabotage on state property, disruptions
in banks and other financial institutions, disruptions at government
meetings and mass sabotage to the live TV transmission of the annual party
political debate. An intrinsic part of this uprising was the evolving
anarchist movement which is rooted in the year long struggle against heavy
industry and the ecological disaster that has resulted from it, always in
the name of “green development”…The roots of this movement became apparent
when it began to adopt en mass and for the first time confrontational
tactics such as the unprecedented attack on the Reykjavik police
headquarters by a crowd of 500 people as a response to the arrest of an

The revolt reached its climax on the 20th and 21st of January 2009 when
thousands of people gathered outside Parliament and prevented what would
be Parliament’s first session for that year. The beginning of the end for
that government was marked when a newly formed group of
radical students, Oskra, broke the lines of the police in front of the
Parliament. What followed was 48 hours of rage and fury with noise, fire
and rocks. The Christmas tree was sacrificed at the fire and every single
window of the parliament building was shattered. For the first time in 60
years teargas filled the air of Reykjavik. With the police reaching
breaking point there remained only two options for the state: To call in
the Danish army (Iceland’s former colonizer) who had been on hold for
three months in the outer harbor of Reykjavik or to dissolve the

The case of the RVΚ9 is a clear case of political persecution. The
CCTV evidence brought forward demonstrates beyond doubt that the violence
was that of the police and the guards. The current ‘left-wing’ government
took over power in May 2009 on the backs of the grass roots movements that
toppled the last government. This government is not interfering in this
case not because it lacks the political will but precisely because its
political will is to criminalize the radical elements of the revolt having
already co-opted the revolt itself and suppressed popular demands for
retribution against the politicians and bankers responsible for the
crisis, of whom NONE have yet been brought to justice! Just like in other
European countries ‘socialism’ seems to be the most appropriate medium for
the most vicious neoliberal restructuring of the economy, in Iceland the
left-wing government with the blessings of sold-out labour unions and
under strict supervision of the IMF, is the one that will execute the mass
cut backs, the privatizations and the sell-off of natural resources for
the further development of heavy industry. All this is taking place in the
name of the “crisis” and in a climate of nationalism, neo-fascism and
xenophobia that has resulted from it. Note that in the
recent protests ‘against the crisis’ in Reykjavik in 2010 neo-nazi groups
have suddenly emerged and participated! Luckily they were attacked by
anarchist demonstrators.

The final hearing in the RVK9 case is taking place in Reykjavik city court
on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of January 2011. An international week of
actions in support if the RVK9 have been called for the week beforwe the
12th - 16th of January.

For this small island state at the periphery of Europe, any negative
attention from abroad deeply hurts the authorities, the elite and the
corporate media. For this reason it is imperative that we give them all
the negative attention they deserve so that the Icelandic authorities know
that the world is watching them, so that they know that there will be
serious consequences for them at the event of a conviction for the
Reykjavik Nine!

We call for ALL kinds of solidarity actions to the Reykjavik Nine and
against the Icelandic state!


Please send pictures, statements, or other informations about actions to so that it can be reported on after.

A list of Icelandic embassies:

More information about the case can be found on:
News and information about Iceland’s anarchist and activist movement can
be found on: and

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