- Written by Lisa Cerda
29 May 2012
VOICES - When I was twelve, we were driving through St. George, Utah when our car over heated and blew a gasket. My father walked to the nearest gas station looking for a mechanic to come and assist us. I don’t know who I felt sorrier for, my walking father or my mother and six siblings who were left in the dessert heat by the side of the road.
I could not stand the misery of idle worry, so when I saw the mountain off in the desert terrain, I decided to climb it. With no trees, no shade, and the sun blazing down, I headed off with a plan. I would take the metal clip barrette from my hair and carve my name into a rock at the top of the mountain. I had already decided two things about my plan; it was impossible and I won’t give up.
It took an hour to get to the base of the mountain, and another hour and a half to climb to the top.
Every step up that mountain was a turn back step, if I was inclined to listen to reason or my body. But I wasn’t. I can still feel the breeze and elation of conquering the impossible, even if it was of my own perception. I began carving my name when I heard my sister calling me back. Knowing that I had a long trek back, I opted to put my barrette under the rock for someone to find in the future. It was my symbolic flag. After that, I learned to never underestimate myself and never overestimate the obstacle in front of me.
Which brings me to my topic; The Icelandic Revolution. I have watched the world rise up nation by nation, then city by city, then town by town. I have seen a police state mentality in response. I have waited for the success of one nation out of 196 to succeed. That it happened, I am not surprised, that it happened peacefully, I am profoundly surprised and elated. That it is not the topic of every teacher, preacher, anchor and activist is mind boggling.
The television media, intent on serving up its daily dose of celebrity gossip, shows only snippets of world events and their citizenry revolutions. Most coverage lacks real in-depth discussions on the reasons behind such malcontent. Much of the coverage is a one dimensional viewpoint, with multi-angle shots of police brutality, acting as a subliminal warning to would-be demonstrators, and not meant to enlighten viewers.
The beauty of the Icelandic Revolution is that it made right the many wrongs perpetrated on the citizens of Iceland. The same wrongs perpetrated here and abroad.
What they achieved is remarkable.
• They forced the country’s ENTIRE corrupt government to resign.
• Held new elections.
• They created a referendum that allowed the people to determine their own economic system. 93% of the voters refused to pay back debt to Great Britain and Holland.
• They nationalized their bank.
• They held accountable and incarcerated those responsible for the economic meltdown.
• To protect themselves from the same ill fated leadership, they are rewriting the Iceland Constitution by people of their own choosing.
• They refused to pay the bad debt of their bankers, placing the biggest lenders in receivership.
• They forced Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde to resign.
• They tried Geir H. Haarde, and he was found guilty of negligence, in relation to the financial crisis. He is the only political leader in the world to face prosecution over the crisis in the world economy.
• Many top executives and bankers are arrested and Implicated parties are told to leave Iceland by Interpol.
• They removed their money from the banks, forcing them to liquidate, borrow and pay their customers.
• They demanded the forgiveness of debt by banks, and since 2008m banks have forgiven 13% of the nation’s gross domestic product in loans.
In 2008, the Kroner lost 85% of its value, compared to the Euro. At the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy. By 2011 the harsh austerity measures taken, helped the country’s economy. It is now showing signs of health. However, the current global economic crisis has Greece verging on default. Many other euro-zone states are under pressure.
The US and Ireland injected billions of dollars of capital into their financial institutions to keep them afloat, and the taxpayers are left holding the bag. All the while, our government has acted as if the economy was turning the corner with rosy predictions that fly in the face of our reality. As a super power it has influenced or at least attempted to influence the beleaguered world to follow suit.
Bad ideas are like the chicken pox, spreading and infecting those that embrace it. So it is easy to see how the spread of so many bad ideas’, which sprang from our own nations conscious, had set the dominos falling. Nations giving up their own sovereignty, their own monetary system, their own border protection, allowing banking systems to take them deeper in debt by bailing them out, and embracing the United Nations agenda for one world government.
The Icelandic Revolution provides a manifesto of sorts. With a blue print for every citizen of every nation to take note. If you’re looking for a model, do not follow our lead, but look to Iceland, the country that was the richest in the world in 2003, and from bankruptcy it has found a way to regain its foot hold and become the beacon for those who see the obstacle for what it truly is … not what you overestimate it to be. It’s absolutely possible, and we can do it.
(Lisa Cerda is a contributor to CityWatch, a community activist, Chair of Tarzana Residents Against Poorly Planned Development, and former Tarzana Neighborhood Council board member.) –cw
Tags: Lisa Cerda, Iceland, Iceland Bankruptcy, Iceland Revolution
Vol 10 Issue 43
Pub: May 29, 2012