On saturday Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament, reconvenes.
Protests are planned on the square outside, and there are suggestions that a new wave of protests may build up, similar to the “Household Revolution” back in the winter of 2008.

But there will be some missing from the demos.

On Wednesday, at informal meetings, a number of Icelandic Police, both from departments in the south west, where Reykjavík is, and in the north, declared that they would not be serving on the Riot Police squad.
As I understand, call up to riot squad duty, is essentially, non-mandatory overtime shift work, beyond normal duty shifts. A large fraction of the police trained for this duty, possibly the majority, are declining the duty.

This could be quite amusing, especially if it starts a trend.
Iceland does irrationally pride itself on being trend setting, on a world wide basis.

It’d be nice to claim that this was done as a matter of principle, a grand gesture of solidarity, but the real reason seems to be that the recent arbitration ruling on pay increases was not satisfactory to the majority of the police, in particular they feel their pay has slipped relative to other professions, and bonuses and supplements for seniority and special training are inadequate.

On an unrelated note, the police will apparently not be providing an Honour Guard escort for the setting of Alþingi, though this has, officially, nothing to do with any union dispute over pay or benefits… a suggestion was made that the Scouts provide a guard, from the Rescue Squad, I thought the Cub Scouts might make a better escort, but apparently they don’t want to do it either.

Interesting times.

Iceland Review: Riot Police Resign


  1. #1 oldebabe
    September 29, 2011

    Interesting concept that they may have inadvertently started something, i.e. how will the protesters feel, and act, if there is no `riot police’ available for insertion into their `peaceful demonstrations’? Maybe the protesters will do their own `policing’? Or give up on bad behavior altogether? Well, the media will hate that.

  2. #2 moopheus
    September 29, 2011

    Well, I’m not sure Iceland can be called “trendsetting” if no one is actually following the trend. Some of the things Iceland has done in response to the financial crisis–let their banks go bankrupt, tell the banks of the UK and the Netherlands to stuff it, and so on–have not really been copied elsewhere, though Ireland and Spain would be a lot better off now if they had.

  3. #3 bob
    September 29, 2011

    You couldn’t possibly get and more unequivocal evidence for the REAL reason cops are vicious towards protesters.

    They just do it for the cash, in other words. Hired goons, the lot of them. The ones that did not walk out this time would if the cuts were more severe.

  4. #4 Steinn Sigurdsson
    September 29, 2011

    @moopheus – we’re just so far ahead of the rest of the world they haven’t caught up yet… modest too

    @oldebabe – the Icelandic demos were remarkably peaceful, so far
    @bob – this is reputedly the source of tension in the NY Wall Street protests – the “random walkaround” protest is loved by the squaddies, ’cause they require very high manpower to both cover the mobile groups, and to cover the base camp; but the dept. officers are livid, for the same reason, the protests are breaking their budget cushions in “wasted” overtine

    interesting dynamics

  5. #5 coolstar
    October 1, 2011

    @moopheus It can be argued that since the EU (and their banks) actually funded a LOT of the “Celtic Tiger” boom in Eire that defaulting would have been morally reprehensible.

  6. #6 jhimmi the dhimmi
    October 4, 2011

    @coolstar It would not be reprehensible to you, if you knew what “money” is, and where it comes from. Hint: it’s created out of thin air with NO REAL INVESTMENT by the “loaner”. At most, a service charge should be paid, for converting the “borrower’s” credit into fiat cash. But nooooo, the bankers want all this vapor-loot back, And more! Like, where’s the more gonna come from? It has to be borrowed at interest. Borrowing money at interest to pay the interest already due is the scheme the banks have been rolling for at least 90 years. See the Federal Reserve publication “Modern Money Mechanics” (no longer in print, but many copies online) and the Youtube video “Money as Debt” (the script is largely taken right out of the pages of “Modern Money Mechanics”)

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