Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Entry: 2009 Icelandic Financial Crisis Protests

Before you say anything: I know. This is the third time in a month that I've poked gentle fun at Iceland. The name of the blog is Things I've Learned from Wikipedia, not Things I've Learned About Iceland that Strike Me as Unusual and Warrant Comment. But this was right there on the English-language front page, in the news section, tempting-- nay, begging-- me to blog about it.

Okay.

Iceland has been hit hard by the financial crisis, and a good chunk of her citizens were pissed off about how their government was handling it. There have been protests at the Parliament, drawing between 1 and 3,000 people (in a country of 320,000), which brought about the early resignation of the current Prime Minister (who was withdrawing from politics) and early parliamentary elections. That's pretty cool. People were frustrated with their government, they made their voices heard, change was brought around, and nobody died as a result. Kudos to you, Iceland. But what caught my notice was this description of one of the protests: "Some broke windows of the parliament house, threw skyr and snowballs at the building, and threw smoke bombs into its backyard." Now, okay, some violence, some vandalism-- but click the explanatory link. They threw yogurt at the Parliament building. Best coup ever.

2 comments:

hyrax said...

So, do you think they threw little cartons that they happened to all be eating (like as if Americans threw cans of Coke or bottles of Snapple?), or did they bring specially-designated stuff that they threw AT the building (like, as if we started pouring milk or cottage cheese on the building?)

Your readership wants to know more!

Regina said...

According to an article I found from a genuine Icelandic website (http://www.grapevine.is/Author/ReadArticle/Culture-Club), "In 1972, Helgi Hóseasson famously threw skyr at the bishop of Iceland and MPs to protest the fact that he could not have his baptism annulled. This method of protest was used again a few months ago against those involved in the Kárahnjúkar dam project during a meeting at Hotel Nordica." I'm so embarassed. Helgi Hoseasson! How could I ever have forgotten him? Her?

The article also mentions the Saga of Grettir the Strong, where the titular hero has a bag of skyr thrown at him, and which he takes as an insult. So yeah, I guess it must be similar to Americans throwing eggs or tomatoes.