Iceland: Storming the Althingi

On 20 January 2009, parliament in Iceland resumed after the holidays.  But no business as usual for the Icelandic politicians any more.  People began to besiege the parliament building, demanding early elections and not taking “No” for an answer.  Writing for the Guardian today, Eirikur Bergmann described the political atmosphere in Iceland thus: “While Barack Obama was being sworn in to office on Capitol Hill yesterday, the people of Iceland were starting the first revolution in the history of the republic.  The word ‘revolution’ might sound a bit of an overstatement, but given the calm temperament that usually prevails in Icelandic politics, the unfolding events represent, at the very least, a revolution in political activism.”  The siege of the parliament is still continuing today.