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In the Line of Fire

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In the Line of Fire

Watch this slideshow of the protests on October 1, when a new session formally opened at the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, on Austurvöllur square in central Reykjavík. As the president, ministers and parliamentarians proceeded from the cathedral to the parliament, they were met by a crowd of more than 2,000 angry protestors. Photos by Geir Ólafsson, editing by Páll Kjartansson.

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On October 1, a new session formally opened at the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, with a ceremony in the cathedral adjacent to the parliament on Austurvöllur square in central Reykjavík.

Most of the more than 2,000 protestors were peaceful, albeit angry. Some MPs, President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and his wife, Dorrit Moussaieff, took the time to have a chat with the people standing closest to the barricade.

Judging by their placards, demonstrators felt the welfare of officials was being prioritized above their own and that money was being wasted on administration. They demanded that the pension benefits of officials be canceled and asked how much MPs cost, etc.

As the president, ministers and parliamentarians proceeded from the cathedral to the parliament, a group of people threw eggs, tomatoes and other food items at them.

While police officers tried to shelter officials with umbrellas, many jackets got splattered with egg yolks and one MP was hit so hard in the head with an egg that he lost his balance and collapsed to the ground.

The demonstration was preceded by another two days later; protestors in Austurvöllur square could be heard from inside the parliament beating oil barrels as PM Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir gave her keynote speech.

Similar demonstrations were held when a new parliamentary session commenced in October 2010, an echo of the series of protests held at Austurvöllur every Saturday for many months after the banking collapse in October 2008.

These photos were taken on October 1, 2011, by Geir Ólafsson, the slideshow was edited by Páll Kjartansson.

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