news from the protest camp which is happening now in Iceland. against destruction of nature for aluminium corporations.
Protest against massive environmental destruction in Iceland
Iceland, with its last great expanse of true wilderness in western Europe,
is under serious threat. Multinational companies, in partnership with the
Icelandic government, are establishing large-scale heavy industry across the
pristine countryside that has made the country so famous. Protected areas
and even internationally protected vegetation will be directly affected.
Iceland obtained a special allowance under the Kyoto protocol, and therefore
attracts multinationals worldwide to take advantage of cheap energy.
A plan to dam all Iceland's major glacial rivers, to generate hydro electric
power for aluminium smelters run by multinationals such as the US company ALCOA
- which has been condemned worldwide more than ten times - has divided the
The first dam, at Karahnjukar, is set on September 1st of this year, to flood 57 km2 of land,
destroying a fragile ecosystem of outstanding beauty and unique scientific
importance. Alcoas' most ambitious project ever will touch an active volcano,
and is built on a seismically unstable area.
To try to prevent this imminent environmental catastrophe, an ever increasing
number of Icelandic and international protestors, supported by musicians such
as Björk and Sigur Ròs, are joining a protest camp under mount Snaefell, near
the planned site.
On saturday 22 July, these protesters gathered at the dam to mark the 1st
day of a series of actions. On the 26th 40 protesters went to the large
construction site in the Eyjabakkar valley to block a traffic junction and
have media cover this action. The protection of this valley was a large
issue six years ago; with 45 000 signatures and under European pressure, the
Icelanders thought the valley was left out of the project.
Claims that the dams will boost the economy and bring employment are
contested by economists, and the so far 80% foreign workforce.
While Europe tries to undo and prevent environmental damage, Iceland is opening the
floodgates to one of the most polluting industries with irreversible and