Street democracy in Iceland overheats

some riot policeFuel protests in Iceland are getting hot, according to reports by CNN. Retired truck driver Halldor Sigurgson captured the essence of the protests on video, the police barricades, the canisters of gas flying through the air and the faces of Icelanders vivid with the spirit of protest.

“This is the first time in a long time we have seen in Iceland violence against protestors,” Halldor Sigurgson told CNN, adding “we are not used to violence against groups of people at all.”

The police in Iceland found themselves facing hundreds of truckers on the roads leading to Reykjavik last week. The majority of those protesting were truck drivers who are suffering from the high cost of fuel and from new regulations imposed by the EU on how long they can drive without resting.

The protest has been escalating in the past few weeks. Initially, the population showed their support to the truckers by honking their horns in front of the parliament building.

A number of factors have made the problem more severe. All over the world, the cost of crude oil is rising and the poor value of Icelandic currency has made it even more costly to import fuel. In addition, government taxes in Iceland almost double the price of oil at the pumps.

The Icelandic krona is showing signs of regaining some of its strength, but fuel prices have yet to significantly fall from their recent all-time highs. Other countries are facing similar situations.