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  • It's not just the language that I find confusing in Iceland. Or the constant daylight. Or the effortless hospitality. They're all things that are a little foreign to me, but this fishing quota protest—it's been the toughest to fully comprehend, so far.

    Two days ago, all of Reykjavik woke up to a symphony of boat horns in the harbor, and by mid afternoon there were groups gathered in front of parliament, speakers at a podium, prostesters cheering—and booing. Marc and I went to check out the fuss I could tell there was something odd about the whole thing; one side of the crowd seemingly against the other. The signs were all in Icelandic, and the shouting was too. The eggs that were thrown were a clear mark of dis-ease, but who they were meant for wasn't so obvious. The crowd was mostly calm, but the energy was amping up—I saw a man retreating, holding his hand to the back of his bloodied head; then the faint smell of smoke drifted across the square. We decided it best to retreat, considering we had little stake in the arguments and even less understanding of them. I wasn't convinced things were going to sour drastically, but one can never tell with an unhappy crowd.

    From the Reykjavik Grapevine:
    "There will be a protest at Austurvöllur, in front of parliament, at 16:00 today to bring the protests onto dry land. At the same time, another protest will be held against the ship owners themselves - the objection being that those who own the ships are being unreasonable by compelling their employees not to go out to sea, while at the same time demanding a review of the fishing quota system as a whole."

    So. Turns out there were two protests. One against the bill that's up for vote, one against the ship owners that were forcing/bribing the fisherman to do the protesting of said bill (??) I have yet to totally grasp the argument, or the make any real judgement about the logic on each side, but I found the whole thing fascinating. I'll be interested to hear the outcome, and in the meantime, I'll keep grasping for a handle on the subtle nuance between 'kisa' and 'kyssa' (cat and kiss!)
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