Iceland- demonstrating with noise
Posted by seumasach on October 6, 2010
The desultory nature of this protest does come across in the video- it does look a bit like resignation. This is understandable because the phase of exuberant consumerism and individualism in Iceland , and in the west as a whole, is over. That will never return, no matter how much we demonstrate and people, on one level, may be grieving for that. The point is not to return to the past but to prevent the descent in a kind of dark age, to stop the rot and to reaffirm certain fundamental values, to rebuild a real economy, real community and solidarity: to defend national sovereignty and democracy. This is a moment to draw the bottom line: none without shelter, none without food, none without the possibility of work. Everything in this crisis is about quantities, usually mind-boggling figures for debt or fraud, but behind just numbers there is a qualitative shift and we will become more positive as we realize the potential in all this.
5th October, 2010
EPI and I headed down to the demonstration this evening in Austurvöllur square.
There were lots of people there [around 8,000 I’m told] and it was very noisy.
There was quite a different sensation to the protests now than in January of last year. Back then there was a lot of raw energy and also a sense of empowerment, of hope that maybe, just maybe, we could have a new Iceland.
This time it was different. The word jaded springs to mind. The sense of empowerment was gone, and there was almost a sort of hopelessness, or resignation, in the air. That people were protesting just to do something, but that they really didn’t believe it would bring about any real change.
We shall see. I fully expect this to continue over the next few days.