So tomorrow is Saturday weekly demonstration day.
After a series of heated protests in November, things seem to be cooling down. Last Saturday a mere 1,500 people showed up to demonstrate [according to police – 2,500 according to the protest organizers], down from 6-7,000 the week before [say police, 11-12,000 according to the organizers].
Fréttablaðið has a report today examining this trend and various possible causes. A number of questions are raised, such as whether Nicelanders have finally succumbed to their quintessential apathy, or whether this is merely a short break for Christmas before people’s anger flares up again and they take to the streets even more fiercely than before.
The reporter interviews a handful of people, including a couple of clergymen, a psychologist, and Hörður Torfason, troubador and the main organizer of the protests. He forecasts a new wave of demonstrations after Christmas, when people are finally out of work and have nothing festive to look forward to – just the bleakness of midwinter. One of the clergymen feels people’s anger has not subsided – we’re just busy with other things at this time. Meanwhile, the psychologist believes that, as a nation, we have passed through the anger phase of this trauma and now a new phase has begun, namely the processing.
I tend to think he’s right. I do have a feeling that much of the rage has subsided – but that does NOT mean that we’re willing to return to the status quo. At least not me. What has not changed is that my regard for the people who govern here, who are at the helm of the Central Bank and head the Financial Supervisory Authority, is nonexistent. I have no little or no respect for these people [more for some than others, admittedly] and am still utterly appalled at the fact that they have not resigned or, at the very least, shown a little humility. It’s insufferable.
I have tried to make it to the demonstrations over the last few weeks whenever I’ve been able to – I haven’t always been successful [last week I caught the tail-end of the last speech … the demo lasted only half an hour, not the usual hour] but I feel it’s important to get down there and at least be counted. However, I completely understand the people who can’t make it during this season – there’s so much to do, and at the end of the day your kids’ end-of-season ballet performance or piano recital is more important than going to a demonstration. Even if it is a worthy cause.
Meanwhile, there was an interesting poll published along with the report, taken from the website persona.is [it’s all about psychology]. The question was: What feeling do you most prominently have in connection with the current circumstances in this country? The greatest number, or 33%, said fear or anxiety, 28% said anger, 15% grief, 13% sadness and 11% shame.
[Weather is the same as last post!]