Icelandic protest camp under attack!
17 Aug 2006 15:02 GMT
Over 50 protesters fighting multinational corporations, arrested in eastern Iceland!
In the pristine highlands of Iceland protesters are fighting the construction of Europe´s biggest hydroelectric power plant. Over 50 arrests have been made during nonviolent direct actions, since the protest camp started a month ago. There have been several incidents of police brutality, repression of the media and harrassment of the locals. All arrests have so far been illegal, and several protesters lives were endangered when cops cut the D-locks used for lock-ons to construction machines. The protest camp, which has been running since mid-July has now been evicted twice from its locations but is being relocated further east, from the dam site to the Alcoa smelter of Reydarfjordur. We are under constant surveillance and attack, but the highlands are wide and the cops are clueless.
We are protesting against a series of six dams being built in protected land with the sole purpose of powering one single aluminium smelter, and the environmental consequences are devastating, not only for species in the highlands, but with severe repercussions for fish and seal populations thus damaging the local´s source of income.
Geoscientists predict massive earthquakes caused by the main 57 sq kilometer reservoir endangering the communities and farms beneath the dams, a recession of the coastline, and dust storms caused by the entrapped silt from the Vatnajokull glacier. Further dangers are flash-floods emitted by Vatnajokull and the fact that the main dam is situated on seismically active ground, by the slope of a dormant volcano. Scientists predict that the weight of the reservoir will activate volcanoes under Vatnajokull and around the reservoir.
This corporate madness, embodied by Bechtel, ALCOA and Impregilo has been lured to Iceland by promises of cheap energy, and cheap imported labor. Impregilo, the corporation constructing the dam, uses Chinese prison laborers among others, obtained through a deal while building the Three Gorges dam for the Chinese authorities. Bechtel we know among other atrocities as the usurper of public water in Cochabamba, Bolivia and ALCOA, the world´s biggest aluminium producer is one of the great polluters of the earth.
The protest camp is still in action and any support is needed if we are to stop the destruction of the last true wilderness of Europe.