Throwing yoghurt at the prime minister
To my delight on Monday news broke about the Panama Papers leak. Moreover, the news that Iceland's government was featured heavily in some of the leaked documents with links to shady behaviour causing the countries financial crash in 2008, and putting some Icelandic power players in bed with the like of Vladimir Putin and Bashir Al-Assad. Not great for the rep.
I got word that the locals were not in the mood and almost 10% of the country (20,000+ people) turned up to yell at Parliament house. Much to my delight, when I arrived on Monday afternoon, the SKYR was aloft. Tubs flew side-by-side with bananas that the protesters politely took from boxes being walked around the crowd.
Protesting in Iceland is a banana dessert.
Obviously there is some reasoning behind it... Throwing bananas sends a clear message that the locals do not want Iceland turning it in to a 'banana republic'. The throwing of SKYR goes back to 2008 when, in much more heated riots following the financial crash, the historic cultured creation coated the parliament. The statement behind the SKYR hurling essentially being akin to Australians throwing Vegemite. The message being "We throw our national pride (in food form) at you because we can't be proud of a nation run so badly!".
I returned back to the protest site today. Four days later there are still at least 1500 people banging the barricades and drumming on biscuit tins at their leaders. They all rythmically waved red pieces of paper at the parliament in a gesture resembling the sending-off of a bad sport in a footbal match. It makes me so happy.
In order to not be ignorant (considering I'm living on top of 20,000 pissed off vikings) I thought I should try and wrap my head around the 'Panama papers' scandal. I'm working on it, writing as I learn, which will hopefully form a simple guide to the Iceland/Panama papers situation.
The situation here is still evolving though, and with a bright sunny day afoot, and the unsatisfactory results in the parliament yesterday which have denied the Icelanders the opportunity to vote for a new government - Things should get interesting again in town.
The following photos are from the last few days of the protest, mostly the 4th of April. I'll be heading back down today as I'm sure people will be fired up and ready to spend their Saturday out in the sun yelling and throwing dessert.
Stay tuned and enjoy the photo's from the last few days here in Reykjavik, Iceland.