Iceland began its historic collapse Oct 9 (when they closed their stock market after the failure of their three largest banks). Through November and December the normally genteel Icelanders organized weekend protests against their government.
Now things have gotten seriously violent, for the first time in 60 years.
Late Wednesday night, as thousands of protesters re-lit a large bonfire in front of the Parliament, the Reykjavik chapter of the Progressive Party… called for new elections in May 2009.
As the night wore on, though, matters descended into violence.
Around 1:30 am, police dispersed the crowd with tear gas, the first time tear gas had been used against Icelanders in 60 years. The crowd soon reformed and pelted riot police with stones. One officer was severely injured by a cobblestone.
This is what it’s like when a 1st world country slips into economic oblivion.
My heart goes out to the people of Iceland, with whom I feel we in the US and Europe share a fraternal bond. This is not the demise of a banana republic.
Wednesday morning began with angry protesters throwing paint at the government building and surrounding Prime Minister Geir Haarde’s car. They banged on the vehicle’s windows and pelted it with eggs for several minutes before his bodyguards and police pushed them away.
The protesters gathered in front of the Parliament building banged on pots and pans while shouting “Unfit government!” “You’re fired!” and more creative insults. [more]
A full 1% of Iceland’s populace is in the streets protesting. If 1% of the US population took to the streets there would be 3 million of us agitating for change.
Bet that’d be enough for a declaration of martial law!
Read up on Iceland, follow this story. It may be a foreshadowing of what’s to come our way late summer 2009.
Please be prepared!