So, the weekly demonstration got a bit rowdy today.
Or, more precisely, what happened AFTER the demonstration did, which was that the guy organizing it urged everyone to head up to the police station on Hverfisgata and protest the fact that the guy who climbed up on top of the parliament buildings a couple of weeks ago and drew the Bónus flag to full mast was arrested yesterday and remanded in custody.
EPI and I figured we’d done our bit for democracy by then [plus we had places to go and people to see] so we weren’t part of the angry mob that stormed the station and attempted to force its way inside using sticks and stones – hence missing all the excitement. See here.*
Police obviously did the only reasonable thing under the circumstances – they opened the door a tad [the second door – after demonstraters had bashed their way through the first one] and sprayed teargas on the general populace. [Surprisingly nobody yelled GAS! GAS! GAS! this time – guess they didn’t want to risk any more ringtones.]
The cops claim the guy was arrested on a completely different charge [he hadn’t paid a fine after repeated warnings] and was picked up yesterday for that reason – it had nothing to do with him protesting two weeks ago. If that’s true, then the whole thing was just mass hysteria. I don’t think the excuse that “people are angry” holds much water. Channeling your anger blindly into unfocused rage usually does more harm than good. IMHO.
Anyway. The demo today at Austurvöllur drew a crowd of between 6,000 and 7,000, which is pretty significant. That’s, like, two percent of the population. Transpose that onto the populaton of, say, Great Britain, and you’d have 1.1 million people demonstrating in one place. Transpose it onto the United States and you’d have 6 million people demonstrating in one place. So you see – we’ve got a sh*tload of pissed off people here.
Kastljós yesterday showed a sort of collage that they’d put together of the demonstrations held over the last few Saturdays, which I thought was pretty good. See here.*
And now it’s past midnight so it’s actually like I’m writing this on a Sunday, but since this post was started on a Saturday, that’s what counts. A little-known rule in blogging known as Alda’s Law.
THE CLOUDS GATHERED OVERHEAD
During the demonstration today, and it started to rain just as it was finishing. It rained buckets all evening, but has now stopped; however, the wind has picked up. Weatherman sez we’re in for blustery conditions for the next day or two. Currently 1°C [34F]. Sunrise: 10:20 am. Sunset: 4:07 pm.
PS. Oh, and guess who EPI and I encountered just outside our door, as we were heading off to the demonstration this afternoon? Guess! G’won, Guess! – OK … we ran into Doddsson! Doddsson and wife, surreptitiously running from the building down on the corner, into their big, black SUV with blackened windows that looks like a motorized version of the Central Bank. Unsurprisingly, they headed in the opposite direction from the one we were going in.
* Links will expire in two weeks.