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A first for international Pirates: An online & asynchronous council meeting

A first for international Pirates: An online & asynchronous council meeting

Since the 28th of May the second Council Meeting of the European Pirates (PPEU) is going on. Unlike the previous Council Meetings, the founding meeting and the first council meeting, this one is different. Both previous events took place in Brussels, a traditional “away from keyboard” meeting, were all delegates meet in one physical location to discuss the matters at hand. This year the meeting will be held online and asynchronous during the time span of several weeks. From the 28th of May to the 15th of June to be more precise.

To facilitate this type of meeting an online platform named VoteIT is used. VoteIT is a free and open source tool to facilitate the organization of online democratic and participatory meetings. It can keep agenda, discussion, proposals and polls. This project was started in 2009 by the Swedish gaming federation and made possible with the help of a government grant. If you want to follow the meeting you need to register, after you login the actual discussions can be read. Meeting minutes can be read without registration.

Besides the necessary discussions around rules of procedures and statutes, this meeting will also elect a new board, decide on the admission of new members and another agenda point, that might be of interest to many, is the planned discussion on membership fees.

After some initial delays caused by inexperience using this new tool for the first time, the meeting seems to be progressing in an orderly and constructive fashion. After June 15th Pirate Times will report back on the results of this Council meeting.

 General Assembly  PPEU
PPI turns 7 years old, accomplishments over past year

PPI turns 7 years old, accomplishments over past year

The following article was written collaboratively by board members of PPI, several of whom are also part of the Pirate Times team. While PPI and Pirate Times are distinct organizations they maintain a working collaborative relationship to support Pirate Parties around the world.

The first General Assembly
In 2010, during April 16th-18th, Pirate Parties International (PPI) held its first General Assembly in Brussels. Pirate Parties from 24 countries came together and officially formed the organization. It was a unique initiative. One that surpassed the global reach of any other political party when Pirate Parties from around the world met together to create a supranational organization that would support them. PPI is a global umbrella organization like none other. One that increases awareness and assists the spread of the pirate movement.

PPI Statistics
  • 69 national Pirate Parties are documented on PPI’s website
  • 33 national parties are currently members of PPI
  • 28 national parties are currently active participants
  • 23 parties submitted delegates for the 2016 GA
  • 10 Pirate conferences took place prior to establishment
  • 10 General Assemblies took place since founding
  • 2 Think Twice Conferences took place (2014 in Frankfurt and 2015 in Istanbul)
  • 891,497 visits to the PPI website
Jump on board
On April 22nd, 2017, PPI will hold their 11th GA as an online General Assembly (GA). Members of PPI can submit delegates to vote on PPI statutes. Non-members can listen in and share their own feedback.

Let’s hear it from the board
PPI is a vessel as well as volunteers who push that vessel. As such, the organization is only as effective as the participants who assist. In honor of the event we asked each of the board members to briefly present what they see as the biggest accomplishment of PPI since the last GA and goals for the coming year.

Guillaume Saouli / Chairperson – Pirate Party of Switzerland / Council man
I am very glad to be surrounded by such an exceptional board. We are able to function as a team and contribute collectively to rapid changes in an organisation left to itself far too long.

Last July, our team (the new board) inherited a ship which was at bay. Our first priority was to bring it into a shape and state enabling us to go to sea. We were facing obvious and not so obvious challenges. These cover a broad array of domains: ranging from IT to social media and communication. Each board member has invested themselves tremendously over the past 9 months to make things happen. Re-establishing a climate of dialog, where the norm is fruitful discussions where everyone can benefit from these exchanges is our foremost preoccupation.

Recognizing the diversity and various levels of maturity of our constitutants is another one. Being able to support each and every pirate movement around the world with the apropriate engagement, tools and means. One shoe doesn’t fit all, each and every pirate party around the world has a different environment to deal with, and therefore the PPI needs to evolve in order to deliver in a sustainable manner. The road to achieve this isn’t obvious or easy, however it can only be achieved by fruitful dialogs rather then aggression. We, as pirates, have to acknowledge that every party is different, and this is a unique opportunity that can strengthen us.

Through establishing internal online democracy (a first since the inception of PPI) we have given the means to all members to participate in our development. This is our first and foremost achievement, in other words empowering the members of PPI to contribute to the destiny of the organisation.

Establishing a clear financial operation, and membership roster are two other key accomplishments of these first nine months. This required a huge time investment by the board members with over 3,000 hours volunteered over this period, which enabled us to complete 15 projects in various domains. Some others are still ongoing and will need a much larger time investment to complete them.

Bailey Lamon / Vice-Chairperson – Pirate Party of Canada
The current board has big goals for PPI. Personally I envision it becoming an open, collaborative hub for international coordination and to be able to provide practical support and resources to Pirate Parties and Pirate Activists. While an organization like PPI is obviously not required for Pirates around the world to connect and cooperate with each other, there is a lot of potential here. We are working hard to make PPI functional and usable for unified actions, building solidarity and taking advantage of its vast social network. We are all in the business of changing the world and shaking up current systems of power, and there is so much we have to offer “the cause” and each other in this vibrant community.

We still have a long way to go in terms of meeting our goals, which has disappointed and even angered some. There are those who truly believe that PPI has accomplished nothing over the years and that it should be dissolved entirely. Frustration is completely valid, but we want to assure everyone that we haven’t lost sight of the future and where we’re trying to steer the ship. It is simply not happening as quickly as expected, for a number of reasons that are largely out of our control. We are doing the best we can to overcome the challenges and while patience is not an infinite resource, patience is something we need now more than ever. I remain optimistic.

We hope that you will attend the upcoming online GA. The best thing that can happen right now is a constructive meeting with PPI members as well as non-members, and anyone who wants to help move this organization forward.

Thomas Gaul / General Secretary – Pirate Party of Germany,
Having served on the board before I can say, finally we have an eager and working team who all fit in with the goals of PPI. The achievements I have seen have been major ones compared to the very small steps in the past. Seeing this, it is about time to step forward with PPI and build up teams who will work to accomplish several goals we have assigned into tasks. As we know, a board in itself is nothing but teams who will make a living body out of PPI. I am thankful for working in a team with such great people.
A personal wish: I dearly hope those elected for a one year term will be reelected. They have deserved it for their very good work! And I wish we could visualize our real efforts since our past General Assembly.

Keith L. Goldstein / Treasurer – Pirate Party of Israel
Establishing our finances ( with a bank account in Switzerland and a Bitcoin exchange account has obviously been a major task. In the coming year, I would like to see us set up a crowdfunding campaign to sponsor a third Think Twice conference.

I also would like to see us develop a network of volunteers who can take greater ownership of PPI so that we can collaborate and communicate with greater frequency. PPI is in many respects an early global government, which protects individuals from the tyranny of national governments and corporations that seek to invade privacy and restrict freedom. While we are currently lacking substantial power, I believe we can become a formidable force by doing three things:

1) enabling national parties by helping countries that do not have an established political party with resources to create one and by providing services such as online voting systems

2) networking between members by sharing contact data and social media

3) gaining official status from international bodies, such as the UN.

Andrew Reitemeyer / Board Member – Pirate Party of New Zealand
I am excited by this board. We have, at long last, been able, with our move to Switzerland, to get ourselves a bank account – a task that has cost us many fruitless hours in the past. We are now looking outwards and onwards.

Raymond Johansen / Board Member – Pirate Party of Norway
It has been a privilege to get to know and to work with my board colleagues. I have seldom seen such dedication and professionalism. The big milestones, since we took over, seem to me, to be that we are now formally registered and as such have been able to establish banking relationships. We will now be able to actually fund our activities as a result. I am also proud to have been a small part of actually reestablishing contact with our members. The data we inherited was so poor that only one of the parties actually answered us when we first reached out.

I am elected for one year only so I will not speak too much about the future. But I do hope we let our chairs continue on the road to a strong organisation. Neither Rome nor any other city was built in a day, or even a year of hard work.

If the new board will let me, I will continue to be a part of developing this movement into a much more effective organisation, capable of much greater things.

I thank you all for your confidence and, as the MPAA would say: “Break a leg!”

International Seas Are Rough
Bringing different parties together from around the world, with distinct cultures and perceptions of the meaning of Pirateism, came with its own set of difficulties. Certain parties became more active, others decided to disaffiliate themselves, and yet PPI has persevered with the belief that by continuing this global movement with solidarity we can achieve many great things.

There is a Beacon of Light Out There
PPI is fighting problems that are much greater than any single party can fix, but they are optimistic that with everyone’s help PPI can achieve great things. There is a beacon of light out there, and it is you! For information on becoming a member of PPI or just volunteering, you can contact

Featured image: CC-BY-NC, ubiquit23

 General Assembly  Anniversary  ga  PPI
The General Assembly 2016 of Pirate Parties International

The General Assembly 2016 of Pirate Parties International

Since January I was busy on several levels in organizing the general assembly together with some Pirates: Jessica Zinn from Berlin (Germany), Jelena Jovanovic from Belgrade (Serbia) and former Chairman of PPI, Andrew Reitemeyer from Pongaroa (New Zealand). We were appointed from the board as the general assembly committee.

PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

I did the supervision of the preparations, setting up the event website and gathered information about all things to organize and communicate with the board members about the progress done. Jelena took over the part of social media and communication with potential speakers and lecturers for workshops. Jessica was taking care of the location, social events and drinks/catering, Andrew set up a crowdfunding campaign for pirates, spreading calls for volunteers and getting in touch with delegates from pirate parties all over the world. On July 22nd, nearly everything was set up.

Friday evening, the unofficial start of the GA begun with our social event at “Holzmarkt” at the Spree waterside, where several pirates gathered for a meet and greet. About 30 pirates were chatting and laughing, greeting and discussing. What a great evening and joy to meet so many great people of our movement!

Saturday morning, the start of the general assembly was delayed nearly two hours because of remote delegates searching their proxies on the ground, although we set up several meetings before on Mumble, where nobody attended. A pity, really. And live streaming also wasn’t starting on time, because of technical matters (Unfortunately the Sunday recording went wrong). That was really awkward. Unfortunately, it added up with some dissatisfaction on our Mumble server, because remote delegates wanted to vote themselves and weren’t heard by the chair of the assembly (which was sorted out later). Pirate Party Canada left PPI for reasons (this will be part of another article). To be honest, at this point of the agenda, I was torn apart.

PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

But to be fair: this time PPI GA was organized in a way that has not been done before: Speakers from all walks of life, and not necessarily connected to Pirate Party, additionally very interesting workshops added to the scene. That was marvelous. Despite the delayed start of the assembly, I opened the assembly and keynote speakers took over: Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party in Sweden and Bruno Kramm, chairman of Berlin Pirates both held inspirational speeches. They were discussing the future of the Pirate movement and looking back ten years to reflect of its greatest achievements.

The agenda included special guests: Christian Mihr (Reporters Without Borders), Lauri Love and top (Anon Uk Radio tuned in via video conference). Workshops on Saturday were done by Norbert Scheppers with “The Drone Wars” (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation) and a hacking WiFi routers workshop “Occupy Wifi” held by Israeli Pirate from Haifa, Yoav Lifshitz and “Crowdsourcing an European Constitution” with Netherlands’ Pirate Thomas de Groot.

Back to general assembly – new observer members of Pirates Parties International were accepted:

* Internet Party Serbia
* New York Pirate Party
* Pirate Party North Rhine-Westfalia

PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

The assembly did make some other decisions on Saturday as well: the future seat of PPI is going to be Geneva in Switzerland. A statutes amendment passed, which says that the board is elected for two years with rotation among the board members by electing every year only a part of it (SAP-5 Term of Office). After several other statutes amendments and the reports of the board there were the elections of the board:

– Chairperson – Guillaume Saouli / PP-CH (2 years)
– Vice-Chairperson – Bailey Lamon / PP-CA (1 year)
– Board Member – Andrew Reitemeyer / PP-NZ  (2 years)
– Board Member – Keith L. Goldstein / PP-IL (1 year)
– Board Member – Thomas Gaul / PP-DE (2 years)
– Board Member – Raymond Johansen / PP-NO (1 year)
– Board member – Koen de Voegt / PP-BE (2 years)

Meanwhile, I’ve presented the relaunch of the website of Pirate Parties International.

Sunday had some incredible speakers and workshops as well: Bernd Fix (Wau Holland Foundation, Chaos Computer Club) held an amazing talk about “Digital disobedience”, which left a lot of impressions.

Alternate board members were elected:

1. Alternate Board member Nikolay Voronov / PP-RU (2 years)
2. Alternate Board member Patrick Schiffer / PP-DE (1 year)
3. Alternate Board member Adam Wolf / PP-DE (2 years)
4. Alternate Board member Gregory Engels / PP-DE (1 year)

Court of arbitration:

Kjell Segers PP-BE
Jelena Jovanović PP-RS
Carlo von Lösch PP-IT
Denis Simonet PP-CH
Sebastian Krone PP-DE
Tom J. Quitter PP-JP

Lay auditors:

Mikulas Peksa / PP-CZ
Frantisek Navrkal / PP-CZ
Harry Hensler / Pirate without Borders

In between there was a presentation of the upcoming merchandising shop of PPI, which was set up by Gordon, Thomas and me. There still needs to be some translations and technical work, it’s going to be launched on August 8th.

At the end of the general assembly, there were interesting speeches by Joe Fionda (The Hacker Wars) and Alex Kohler (Pirate Security Conference) from Pirate Party Germany. Finally all remaining pirates helped with uncluttering the room and had some nice socializing in the open yard of the location.
You can read more in the minutes of the PPI GA .

A very nice greeting to PPI from the President of Liberland, Vit Jedlička.

A gallery of pictures from the assembly by Mike Herbst.

Bert van der Lingen (PPNL) wrote a short essay about his visit of the general assembly (in Dutch).

 General Assembly  Adam Wolf  Alex Kohler  Andrew Reitemeyer  Anon UK radio  Bailey Lamon  Bernd Fix  Bert van der Lingen  Bruno Kramm  Carlo von Losh  Chaos Computer Club  Christian Mihr  Denis Simonet  Frantisek Navrkal  Gregory Engels  Guillaume Saouli  Harry Hensler  Internet Party Serbia  Jelena Jovanovic  Jessica Zinn  Joe Fionda  Keith Goldstein  Kjell Segers  Koen De Voegt  Lauri Love  Mike Herbst  Mikuláš Peksa  New York Pirate Party  Nikolay Voronov  Norber Scheppers  Occupy Wifi  Patrick Schiffer  Pirate Party North Rhine-Westfalia  PPCA  PPDE  PPI  raymond johansen  Reporters Without Borders  Rick Falkvinge  Rosa Luxemburg Foundation  Sebastian Krone  Thomas de Groot  Thomas Gaul  Tom Quitter  top  Vit Jedlicka  Wau Holland Foundation  Yoav Lifshitz
Let’s take over Berlin! PPI GA, Elections and Turning 10!

Let’s take over Berlin! PPI GA, Elections and Turning 10!

If you have dreamed about an European summer tour this year might be the best possible moment for a pirate to discover Berlin and its attractions. Starting from summer, the annual meeting of Pirate Parties International will take place in Berlin, on 23rd and 24th July. Right after the conference, Berliners will have another exciting event stay tuned for: Pirates are running for the local elections. On top of that, German Pirates will be celebrating ten years of pirate movement, again – in Berlin.

On September 18th, the election of the House of Representatives in Berlin will be held. Surveys show the Pirates (with their top candidate Bruno Kramm) currently polling at about 3%, despite the good work that the elected pirates haved done over the past years in the Berlin “Abgeordnetenhaus” (City Parliament of Berlin). Current predictions are far from the Pirate Party’s electoral success in 2011, when they reached 8.9% of the vote. The Berlin success in 2011 initiated a huge hype and brought a national German double-digit party poll result in 2012.

The hype vanished just as quickly as it appeared. Repeating it and successfully moving into the Berlin parliament, now requires a good deal of hard work, persuasiveness and solidarity from international pirates. If it’s possible in Berlin to prove to the public that the pirates can get reelected on the European continent, this sign will not miss its effects in terms of a second chance of the Pirate movement on the continent and inspire our whole work as well as a possible success in the national elections in Iceland.

The choice in Berlin is not only for the local pirates of considerable importance, but for all of us. Reason enough for us, the international pirate community, to head to Berlin this summer.

What can you do:
  • Come to the General Assembly of Pirate Parties International: 22th to 24th July 2016 in Berlin, Franz-Mehring-Platz, 10243 Berlin. Event website:
  • For socializing between other Pirates, PPI offers a barbecue event and silent cinema with 2-channel-headphones in the evening of saturday, 23rd of July. Every pirate is called to bring some material to present like flags, merchandising, gimmicks, electoral video clips, interviews, short movies and presentations to show your political work to the other international Pirates in the evening.
  • Networking & Knowhow: good choice to get known a lot of Pirates worldwide. Besides delegates, guests are welcome to participate
  • It’s the beginning of the election campaign in Berlin. Some international pirates are going to use the week after the general assembly for an “adventure trip” to help Berlin Pirates in the beginning of their campaigns.
  • Come and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Pirate Party Germany on the 10th September 2016 in Berlin. Local pirates own a small motorboat for campaigning, which is going to be used for a trip through Berlin. Wave and smile for electoral campaigning while you have a nice view of the parliamentary district and the city center from the water.
For questions or accommodation please get in touch with Jessica Zinn:

Featured image: Modified screenshot from event site.

 General Assembly  Bruno Kramm  Germany  PPDE  PPI
A Party That Is About To Change Iceland And The World

A Party That Is About To Change Iceland And The World

Pirate Party of Iceland (PPIS) is the first pirate party ever to elect MPs in a national parliament. The founder of the pirate movement, Rick Falkvinge, was absolutely overwhelmed for being present at their latest General Assembly. In his short speech to the pirates, he mentioned the big historical moments of the pirate parties (from Sweden to Germany and now to Iceland) and Rick was warmly applauded when saying:
“You are about to change the world! It only takes one country to say enough is enough. It only takes one country to set the course for the future of civil rights. It only takes one country to tear down the gatekeepers of knowledge. As it seems Iceland is this country and the people in this room are about to write history! Thank you all! I’m so happy for you all!”


A questions that occupies the mind of pirates worldwide is if pirates in Iceland will take over the helm of the government. Well, only time will tell. The Icelandic Pirates have achieved a lot in a very short time and set the stage for a governmental change that would affect many people. They would not only change their own country but it would lead to a chain reaction for many other countries in Europe and the world. The conditions have been favorable for the Pirate Party in Iceland. The crisis in 2008 allowed grassroots movements to play a leading role in shaping policies in a more active way.

Also, the recent Panama Papers leak shook the country and made citizens turn their attention to Pirates. Pirate Party Iceland have, since April 2015, monopolized the first seat in the polls and continue to do so even today (after a short two months break). The failure, corruption and opacity of the old system has opened the way for the great success of the Pirate Party in Iceland.

Will Icelandic Pirates succeed and take over? It depends on their moves, on how well they organize their human resources, where they are going to spend their funding and how they defend the attacks of the status quo (whom know well how to play the power game). But it is true that Pirates of Iceland have the clear and unambiguous support of their compatriots and it seems that they will be the next government in their country.

The General Assembly of PPIS
Founded in 2012, with three MP’s at the moment in Althingi (the Icelandic Parliament), PPIS is leading the polls again and the climate of the General Assembly (GA) was exciting and full of enthusiasm. Parliamentary elections in Iceland are expected to take place in the coming autumn. Pirates must be prepared for the elections and have internal processes for their candidates.

On June 11-12th about 170 Pirates gathered in Reykjavik to hold the GA. The three MPs were there, as well as new and old members, a new Board and Arbitration Committee was voted, amendments in statutes were made concerning the collaboration between elected representatives, PPIS and citizens. The main thing of the GA was the presentation of the grassroot movement within the party.

Image/photo          Image/photo

On Saturday, June 11th, Asta Gudrun Helgadóttir (MP) talked about her experiences from the parliament to share her experiences with new potential candidates. The difference between being in a group of three MP’s instead of 20, which means a lot of prioritization.  Birgitta Jónsdóttir (MP) talked about how amazed she was with the success of the PPIS. Birgitta suggested that PPIS, as a political party, should make a ten year plan of where it is collectively headed. “That would improve people’s trust in us” she noted.


On Sunday, June 12th, Helgi Hrafn (MP) held his speech about critical thinking and told a story about his great-great-great grandfather. Tryggvi Bjarnason was an MP 1911-1913 and made  a law proposal that every library in the country should receive a free copy of every book ever published, at the time this was seen as preposterous. Helgi used this story to draw parallels between the rhetoric used back then and the one which can be seen today.

The elections of the new Board took place as well as the new Arbitration Committee and elections for other committees.

Work of the past Board
The outgoing Board, that started working on September 2015, presented how they had managed and organized the party during this time. Members of PPIS have increased significantly during the past year and they currently have more than 3.200 members. Its electoral influence brought the highest recognition to the party and the work of the outgoing Board was an important part of this. Among their achievements were the operation of Tortuga (the PPIS headquarters), the establishment of seven new departments of the party (throughout Iceland), the Pirate Party 60+ (for older citizens) and the hirings made (a general manager and an election manager).

Tortuga is the headquarters of PPIS which have really given a big push to the party. Tortuga has been a popular meeting place for the executive committee, other committees and councils within the party. Almost every night in the winter, Tortuga was booked for various meetings and discussions. The Board has worked to facilitate and promote the participation of the members in the policies of the party and other social activities.

Another interesting initiative, by Grímur Friðgeirsson, was the establishment of the Pirate Party 60+. The Board welcomes the establishment of the Pirate Party 60+ which concerns older citizens contact with the Pirate ideology.

One of the largest projects for the outgoing Board was to hire staff. After interviewing the most qualified applicants, Sigríður Bylgja Sigurjónsdóttir was hired as the general manager of the party. One of her first tasks was to hire an election manager; Jóhann Kristjánsson was hired (has experience of election management since before).

The changing of the board
The outgoing Board of PPIS consisted of Bergþór Heimir Þórðarson, Birgir Steinarsson, Björn Þór Jóhannesson, Friðfinnur Finnbjörnsson, Gunnar Ingi Berg Gudmundsson, Halldóra Sigrun Ásgeirsdóttir, Herbert Snorrason, Kári Gunnarsson, Sara Oskarsson, Sigmundur Þórir Jónsson, Ms Olga Cilia, Unnar Örn Ólafsson and Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir.

According to their statutes the GA elects five board members and five alternate board members. Additionally, two members are randomly selected to be part of the board and another two members for the alternative board.

Elín Ýr Arnar Hafdísardóttir was elected as the new chairwoman of the PPIS board for 2016-17. Other board members elected were Sunna Rós Víðisdóttir, Þórlaug Ágústsdóttir, Rannveig Ernudóttir, Eysteinn Jónsson. The two randomly selected board members were Halldóra Sigrún Ásgeirsdóttir and Jason Steinþórsson.

Alternate board members elected were Jónas Ingólfur Lövdal, Eiríkur Rafn Rafnsson, Gunnar Grímsson, Sindri Viborg, Guðmundur Hörður. The two randomly selected alternative board members were Daði Ingólfsson and Kári Valur Sigurðsson.
See More photos from the GA of PPIS

Watch Day 1 and Day 2 of the GA on the youtube channel of PPIS

All images under CC-BY-PPIS

The article was co-written by Julius Blomkvist Fridriksson

 Kári Valur Sigurðsson  Kári Gunnarsson  Ms Olga Cilia  Jónas Ingólfur Lövdal  Jason Steinþórsson  Jóhann Kristjánsson  Herbert Snorrason  Helgi Hrafn  Halldóra Sigrún Ásgeirsdóttir  Gunnar Ingi Berg Gudmundsson  Gunnar Grímsson  Guðmundur Hörður  Grímur Friðgeirsson  Friðfinnur Finnbjörnsson  Iceland  Björn Þór Jóhannesson  Birgitta Jónsdóttir  Birgir Steinarsson  Bergþór Heimir Þórðarson  Asta Gudrun Helgadóttir  General Assembly  Sunna Rós Víðisdóttir  Sigmundur Þórir Jónsson  Sara Oskarsson  Rick Falkvinge  Rannveig Ernudóttir  PPIS  Pirate Party 60+  Sindri Viborg  Sigrid Wave Sigurjónsdóttur  Eysteinn Jónsson  Elín Ýr Arnar Hafdísardóttir  Eiríkur Rafn Rafnsson  Daði Ingólfsson  Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir  Unnar Örn Ólafsson  Tortuga  Þórlaug Ágústsdóttir