Protests Against Construction In Lava Field

24.9.2013
Words by Paul Fontaine
A group of protesters who object to the building of a road through a protected lava field are considering building a tent city in the area.

RÚV reports that the controversy surrounds the lava fields of Gálgahraun, which is located on the Álftanes peninsula. Although the fields were officially protected in 2009, construction of a new road - Álftanesvegar - was green-lit earlier this month, and will in part go through Gálgahraun.

This has sparked protests that have taken the form of direct action, as protesters put themselves between the lava fields and construction equipment, stopping development before it could begin.

Protesters are now considering building a tent city in the area. Veteran journalist and environmentalist Ómar Ragnarsson - alongside his group, Lava Friends (Hraunavinir) - have already filed a suit against the Icelandic Road Administration (Vegagerðin), on the grounds that the road construction is illegal, and may take the matter all the way to the European Free Trade Association.

Despite being visited by the police a few times already, protesters intend to occupy the area around the clock.

You can also follow the Lava Friends on Facebook.

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