Earlier this month a potential sale of Icelandic geothermal company HS Orka to a Canadian energy firm caused singer Björk to do something drastic: she hosted a karaoke marathon. The Icelandic songbird, along with the support of the Icelandic public, was determined to collect signatures from 10% of the population to be presented to the Prime Minister.
The karaoke marathon was (rather confusingly to some of us) a huge success, and Björk did in fact collect nearly 47,000 signatures. When you consider the population of Iceland is around 320,000, that’s pretty impressive.
This week Björk officially presented the petition and its 46,000+ signatures to Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. The petition cites “irresponsible access” to Iceland’s natural resources through sales to international companies, and calls for an end to the “unfortunate development.”
The petition (and the fact that more than 10% of the population had signed it) made a clear message to the Prime Minister, who invited Björk and other activists to discuss the matter in a meeting. Everything seems to have gone well, and the singer seems cautiously optimistic: “basically we are in agreement on the issue,” she said. “It’s a question of how to deal with the system, the bureaucracy.”
So kudos to you, Björk. You stood up for a cause, and you’re getting results. And most of us didn’t have to listen to any karaoke, so…win-win.