The Icelandic Path

The corporate media still disdains coverage of the success in Iceland in throwing out corrupt politicians and banksters.

Iceland has suffered much like other nations during the global financial crisis, but the Icelanders’ struggle to overcome the disaster has taken on historic dimensions that are relevant to all countries. As the economic collapse began in the fall of 2008, legions of stunned and outraged Icelanders, including a poet and activist named Birgitta Jónsdóttir, started meeting in spontaneous protests and forums. The protests in the capital steadily became larger and more coordinated with kindred groups across the country. Three years before revolutions in the Arab world and mass-protests elsewhere, Birgitta Jónsdóttir and her fellow citizens began to ‘Occupy’ Iceland. The demonstrations were dubbed the ‘Kitchenware Revolution’ because people in the capital banged pots and pans in support of protesters surrounding the Parliament building. Any opposition movement would have been happy with the initial results of the mass-mobilization: the protests essentially blocked the opening of the Parliament in January of 2009, the Prime Minister resigned, his government fell, the Minister of Business Affairs dismissed the head of the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority just before submitting his own resignation, a new coalition government was formed, and the new government quickly announced intentions to convene a Constitutional Parliament in order to amend the Constitution. Nevertheless, all of these dramatic events proved to be just the tip of the iceberg. The turmoil has set in motion a period of profound democratic reform in Iceland, and many Icelanders now wish to share their new liberties and innovations with people around the world…


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