Norwegians defy mass killer in songAgence France-Presse . Oslo
Tens of thousands of rose-waving Norwegians gathered in rain-drenched Oslo on Thursday to protest against mass murder by Anders Behring Breivik by singing a song he hates.
Some 40,000 people, according to police, massed in the rain at a square near the courthouse where Breivik is on trial for his July 22 attacks that killed 77 people, to sing ‘Children of the Rainbow’ by Norwegian folk singer Lillebjoern Nilsen.
Inside the court, the 33-year-old accused right-wing extremist sat listening without showing emotion to powerful testimony from survivors of his bloodbath on the ninth day of his trial.
Last Friday, Breivik had said that Nilsen was ‘a very good example of a Marxist’ who had infiltrated the cultural scene and that his song was typical of the ‘brainwashing of Norwegian pupils.’
Protesters ranging from elderly in wheelchairs to young school children streamed into Youngstorget Square wearing colourful raincoats and carrying Norwegian flags and roses, which have come to represent Norway's peaceful response to the horrifying attacks.
The culture ministers of the Nordic countries were also at the square to participate, while other similar events were to take place across Norway.
Norwegian Culture Minister Anniken Huitfeldt admitted she had wept as Nilsen led the chorus and the crowd sang along, waving roses in the air.
Afterwards they walked slowly together, still singing the song, to the courthouse to add their roses to the piles of flowers already lining the security barriers outside in memory of Breivik's victims.
The song is an adaptation of US folk singer Pete Seeger's ‘My Rainbow Race’ and is very popular in the Scandinavian country. Its chorus goes: ‘Together, we will live, each sister and each brother, small children of the rainbow and a green earth.’
‘The song has never been so beautiful before,’ said Lill Hjoennevaag, who was one of people who started a Facebook campaign last Friday in reaction to Breivik's comments about Nilsen's song, calling on the public to ‘reclaim the song’ and sing it together near the courthouse.
comments powered by Disqus
Tens of thousands of rose-waving Norwegians gathered in rain-drenched Oslo on Thursday to protest against mass murder by Anders Behring Breivik by singing a song he hates. Full story
Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday said she hoped for a swift resolution to a dispute that has delayed her debut into Myanmar’s parliament as she reaffirmed support for the country’s reformist president. Full story
Bomb blasts targeting newspaper offices in Nigeria’s capital Abuja and the northern city of Kaduna on Thursday killed at least six people in the first such attacks targeting the country’s news media. Full story
Pakistan has spelt out in no uncertain terms that U.S. drone aircraft strikes against militants inside its territory must stop, but Washington is not listening, the country’s foreign minister said. Full story
Maoist rebels in eastern India on Thursday released a state lawmaker who had been held hostage for more than a month in the latest of a series of kidnappings by the guerrillas. Jhina Hikaka, 37, a member of the Orissa state assembly, was allowed to walk out of the remote... Full story
A former Brazilian prostitute plans to sue the United States embassy and five of its personnel for injuries sustained outside a strip club late last year, complicating the second of two embarrassing incidents to... Full story
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has returned home to Caracas after undergoing another round of radiation treatment for cancer in Cuba, officials said early Thursday. Full story
Rupert Murdoch admitted on Thursday there was a ‘cover-up’ over phone hacking at Britain’s News of the World, but said he too was kept in the dark over a scandal that would blot his reputation for ever. Full story
The last prime minister to serve under deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been allowed to re-enter the race for the presidency, one day after electoral authorities disqualified him, the... Full story
Liberia’s ex-president Charles Taylor, found guilty by an international court Thursday of war crimes in Sierra Leone, will serve his prison sentence in Britain, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said. Full story
The wife of detained Bahraini activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who is on a hunger strike, said on Thursday she was being denied the right to call or visit the prominent Shiite dissident. Full story