November 22 2008
By Alex Elliot
The now regular Saturday protests in front of the Icelandic parliament in Reykjavik went ahead today as planned, but a follow-up demonstration outside the police headquarters ended in violence.
During the busy parliament protests, the famous statue of Jonas Sigurdsson was dressed in women’s clothing to remind people of the role of the female half of the population and how they should take a leading role in rebuilding the Icelandic economy.
After the rally, some 200 to 300 people took part in a different protest at the main police station to demand the release of Haukur Himarsson, who had been arrested last night when police found out he was the person to fly the Bonus supermarket flag from the top of parliament two weeks ago.
After officers in full riot gear used pepper spray to try to disperse the crowds, police eventually released Hilmarsson and the crowd dissipated. It is still not known whether or not the police charged Hilmarsson before his release, however.
Hilmarsson was arrested last night after an educational research trip to the Althingi parliament house. He has a suspended 14 days remaining of an 18-day prison sentence he received in 2005 for protests with the Saving Iceland environmental pressure group.