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Reykjavik Rave Against The Machine: Iceland's first Reclaim The Streets

Bauxitmanglare | 17.07.2007 03:15 | Climate Chaos | Free Spaces | Social Struggles | London | Sheffield

As an action in our struggle against the destruction of the Icelandic wilderness the first ever RTS has taken place in Reykjavik. Four people were arrested, and the level of police brutality was extreme by Icelandic standards. The action ended with a redecoration of the police station where the detainees were held.

REYKJAVIK, July 14th - Today, Bastille-day, around a hundred people raved all over Reykjavik's ring road in a carnaval against heavy industry. Iceland's first Reclaim the Streets began cheerfully as Saving Iceland ran down Perlan and onto Reykjavik's western ring. A clown army danced to the beats down into the city centre. This Rave Against the Machine was organized by Saving Iceland to "reclaim our public space, space to be free to dance, to be free from dreary industrial car culture and to voice a sound of festival in opposition to the grim industrialisation plans for Iceland," says a Saving Iceland activist.
"For years, people have petitioned, written to politicians and made legal arguments. Still there are at least eight new aluminum smelters and enlargements threatening us in the near future (see list below). We have to take radical direct action if we are to stop this happening. We have to do whatever we can to save the largest remaining wilderness in Europe."
Although a massive traffic jam ensued, many car drivers responded sympathetically.

When the crowd descended Snorrabraut on it's way to Laugavegur, the main shopping street, police blockaded the road and there was a standoff for an hour and a half. When the driver of the sound system tried to exit the vehicle, police attempted to arrest him, violently attacking bystanders. A number of people got injured and four arrested. Police went for people's throats, knocked people face down on the ground, leg-cuffed people and smashed a car window. Activists stayed non-violent.

The crowd moved on to the police station down the road, and sympathizers welcomed us with a surprise second sound system. The police station was stormed by the international rebel clown army that has set up shop at Saving Iceland's camp in Mossfelsheidi. A number of people climbed the roof and hung down anti-heavy industry banners.
Police did a sortie, apparently with the sole purpose of a surprise arrest of a photographer.

Police have announced that the five people arrested will not be released tonight. It is currently uncertain on what charges they are being held, or what their medical condition is, since some were injured in their arrest. One of them has a broken rib.

Various individuals are considering sueing the police. Please send in any footage or photos you might have of police violence.

On a brighter note, the Dutch RTL4 evening news showed an interview with Iceland's environmental minister, Þórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir, who stated that she opposes new aluminium smelters in the country. The program also showed images from Saving Iceland's conference in Olfus last weekend.

RUV shows some police violence, but more interesting is Siggi Superstar and the clown army being interviewed by the RUV journalist, in matching colours...

List of proposed new smelters and enlargements:

The new ALCOA smelter in Reydarfjordur.
The new ALCOA smelter in Husavik.
The Rio Tinto ALCAN enlargement of the existing smelter in Straumsvik.
The new Rio Tinto ALCAN smelter in Keilisnes or Thorlakshofn.
The recent Century Aluminum smelter enlargement in Hvalfjordur.
The new Century Aluminum smelter in Helguvik.
The new Altech smelter in Thorlakshofn.
The new Norsk hydro smelter in Thorlakshofn.

NEW! Video report of the streetparty and documentation of police brutality: part 1 - part 2 at

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More photos from Rave Against The Machine 14. July Reykjavík Iceland

18.07.2007 23:00

More photos found here
Press Djammið 2007 skoða albúm í flokki
there should be 3 galleries marked reif módmæli