October 29, 2012

Peaceful Icelandic Revolution

The people of Iceland have created history over five years starting 2008 and most of us have not heard anything about it. The people of Iceland have shown us a model for peaceful revolution in 'Democratic Dictatorships' that are running freely across the world despite being challenged by their people. The policies of these 'Democratic Dictatorships' are dictated by Capitalists, so no matter which Party is voted to power, the underlying dictator remains the same - The Capitalist! These are Democracies in which the Capitalists also control the media, so no one gets to hear of what goes on behind the corridors of power and, you don't get to hear about a model of peaceful revolution that threatens the way in which these 'Democratic Dictatorships' function. They have an unfortunate motto which is, "The rich and powerful get richer and the common man gets poorer"
Hordur Torfason outside the Icelandic Parliament
It was when such Capitalists, in collusion with the Icelandic Government and Private Banks, caused a collapse of Iceland's economy, that one man woke up to the truth. This man was Hordur Torfason, a singer, an actor and an activist. He decided to wake up the rest of the people in his country too. Hordur sang songs alone, outside the Icelandic Parliament, and as people stopped by, he talked to them about what had happened in their country and asked them for solutions to the problem.

Hordur Torfason had a sound and profound modus operandi:
-Ask people on the streets what they want.
-Hold weekly assemblies at the same time and the same place, so people know, without you informing them, that you are going to be there for discussions to move their cause forward.
-Come to a consensus about the people's "immediate" demands, so that the demands are critical to the cause, few and therefore easier to achieve.
-Connect with more and more people to spread your cause through different new age media like facebook, mobile phones and emails.
-Ask people who support the cause to wear an Orange colour dress everyday so that their support is visible everywhere.
-Stand outside Parliament at lunch hour when the Members of Parliament come out of it, and can see your numbers, because it's numbers that matter to them.

-Enhance the effect by making a noise with your kitchen pots and pans (Because of this, the Icelandic Revolution is popularly known as the Kitchenware Revolution).

Here is a summary of the amazing happenings in Iceland from 2008 to 2012:

2008- There is a financial crisis and the main bank of the country is nationalised by the government. The Krona, the currency of Iceland is devalued and the stock market comes to a halt. The country is in bankruptcy. There are sporadic protests from October 2008 against the Icelandic government's handling of the financial crisis, organised and galvanised by Hordur Torfason.

2009- The citizens intensify protests in front of the Parliament, banging their pots and pans brought from their kitchens to have a big effect and they cause the resignation of the Prime Minister and his whole government. Elections are held and a new left-wing government is formed in late April 2009. It is supportive of the protesters, and initiates a reform process that includes the judicial prosecution of the former Prime Minister, Geir Haarde.
The country is still in a bad economic situation. And yet, a law proposes paying back debts to Great Britain and Holland created by Private Banks, through the payment of 3,500 million euros, which will be paid by the people of Iceland monthly during the next 15 years, with a 5.5% interest rate.

2010- The people go out into the streets again and demand a referendum for repeal of this repayment law. In January 2010, the President repeals the law and announces a popular assembly called National Forum 2010 to find a democratic way forward. In March 2010, a referendum for the denial of payment is voted in by 93%. Meanwhile, the government has initiated an investigation to bring to justice those responsible for the crisis, and many high level executives and bankers are arrested.
The National Forum 2010 recommends a Constitution Council to be elected to rewrite the Constitution which can include the lessons learned from this crisis. For candidacy all that is needed is to be an adult and have the support of 30 people. 25 citizens out of the 522 candidates who stand for election are elected to this Council. The elected members include professors, lawyers, doctors, media professionals and farmers with no political affiliation.

2011- The Constitutional Council starts in February of 2011 to present the various laws from the recommendations given by the different assemblies happening throughout the country. The draft of the Constitution is presented on 29th July 2011, to the Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament.

2012- The Parliament, after 10 long months finally agrees in a vote on 24th May 2012, with 35 in favour and 15 against, to organize an advisory referendum, no later than October 20th 2012, on the Constitutional Council’s proposal for a new constitution.
The outcome of the referendum held on 20th October 2012, as announced by the National Electoral Commission, to the questions below is as follows:

-Do you wish the Constitution Council's proposals to form the basis of a new draft Constitution?
Yes, I wish the Constitution Council's proposals to form the basis of a new draft Constitution.
Votes; Proportion
73,408; 64.2 %
No, I do not wish the Constitution Council's proposals to form the basis of a new draft Constitution.
Votes; Proportion
36,252; 31.7 %

-In the new Constitution, do you want natural resources that are not privately owned to be declared national property?
Votes; Proportion
Yes 84,633; 74.0 %
No 17,441; 15.2 %

-Would you like to see a provision in the new Constitution stating that a certain proportion of the electorate is able to demand that issues are put to a referendum?
Votes; Proportion
Yes 72,523; 63.4 %
No 26,402; 23.1 %

The Icelandic people have been able to show that there is a way to beat the system and have given a lesson in Democracy to the world.

Since we have not been informed about this through the mass media paid by Capitalists who suppress information that might undermine their supremacy, you, as a responsible citizen of a democratic country have the duty to share this truth of Democracy with the world!

We are living in a new age which is all about compassion for the common man and compassion for the oppressors of the common man too, so that they may see the path of integrity.

We all know that light exposes, but it also shows the way. So, be a light unto the darkness!!!

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