Norwegians raised their voices in unison on Thursday to get under the skin of admitted mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.
An estimated 40,000 people turned out in central Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing "Children of the Rainbow," a Norwegian version of "My Rainbow Race," written by American folk singer Pete Seeger.
During his trial for the killings of 77 people last summer, Breivik cited the song as an example of Marxist influence on Norwegian culture.
The Norwegian version of the song describes a "World where – every sister and every brother – shall live together – like small children of the rainbow," according to a report in the Norway Post.
Breivik, whose trial in Oslo City Court began last week, boasts of being an ultranationalist who killed his victims to fight multiculturalism in Norway.
Thursday's event, which included a march to the courthouse to drop roses outside, was “a beautiful, touching scene,” said Geir Engebretsen, the court chief justice in charge of Breivik's terror trial, according to a report on Views and News from Norway.
"It’s a very moving manifestation of Norwegian culture," Engebretsen said, according to the report, which cited Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
The idea for Thursday's singing statement came from two women, Christine Bar and Lili Hjonnevag, who became upset with Breivik's derision of the song and posted a call on social media for others to join them in singing it on the square, Views and News reported. They expected a few dozen people, the report said.
But by Tuesday, 4,000 people had accepted their Facebook invitation – and then 10 times that many turned up Thursday.
“I think this just shows that people felt a need to show their feelings, to make an expression of how they value the Norwegian democracy. It’s fantastic," Views and News quoted Labour Party Secretary Raymond Johansen as telling NRK.
Culture ministers from Sweden, Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland joined in the song, the Norway Post reported.
Lillebjorn Nilsen, who wrote the Norwegian version of the Seeger song, led the crowd in singing both the Norwegian and English versions, according to the Views and News report.
Yes, I'm quite sure this upset Breivik.
He is enjoying all the attention the Norwegians are showering upon him. Before the killings, no one knew him or cared. Now, all of Norway knows his name, feeds into his celebrity, and somehow ignites that small flame burning into another copycat anarchist that is living among you Norwegians right now. (Haven't you watched "Silence of the Lambs"?) Art imitates Life. So instead of Norwegian Polizi asking if they can bring a weapon 'to the festivities' (why they didn;t kill him on the spot as he had weaponry in-hand befuddles me)...next time, perhaps they should have guns drawn and use them on this child killer of the very Norwegian natives that he wanted to keep in his sterilized version of a perfect society.
I applaud the Norwegian people for coming together in a show of unity. You have my sympathy, but not my support in your dismissal of actually eliminating this man. His message is a virus and it is spreading now, among your countrymen, behind the scenes. Because in some twisted way, you have exalted him on a pedestal as a form of untouchable, demi-god to those that are watching and savoring his motives. I pity the system that doesn't work. And in this case, it's not working, sorry.
So if Norway thinks this is 'humane' and the 'right thing to do,' bravo, but keep it on your soil, with the blood of your children, washing away through your fingers... and keep singing to him. Pretty soon, he'll join in with you, in harmony.
Hey, why don't you worry about your own country... I'm sure there are plenty of us Norwegians who are critical of America's own justice system. Remember which nation has a much lower crime rate, much higher quality of life, much lower unemployment and much better health care. Hint: Not the U.S.A. Also, I believe Charles Manson has already been given far more attention than A.B.B. ever will. Americans have written many books and made many movies about him.
It is appalling that you would claim the Norwegians have blood on THEIR hands. The 70 people killed by a political villain in Norway with guns is spit in the wind compared to the thousands of Americans killed yearly by gun nuts. Civilization is not advanced by violence.
Shooting and killing him when he was arrested would not have solved anything. It would have raised more questions and become grounds for more of the twisted conspiracy theories.
The best sign of a civilized society is how you treat those who are like Behring Breivik. Since norwegians don't seek revenge and put their trust in the justice system te court case must be carried out.
He will never be out on the streets again even if he is found pshycotic and he will remain behind bars for the rest of his life.
send him to Egypt for futher interrogation
what a beautiful way to show Norway is not Breivik and Breivik is not Norway
Wonder if that would work in this country?
Wow. That would never happen in the U.S., we are still far too racist.
It is a shame that the ones claiming the US is still far too Racist....are actually the Racist themsselves.
You can't punish murder with murder. We abolished the death penalty along with slavery a long time ago in Europe.
Sure it can. I could be wrong, and sometimes I am, but here's a little prophecy ~ that fiend will be found d e a d , an 'apparent s u ici d e' ~ two years tops.
It takes a while for a country to evolve to where Norway is, America is probably 300 years away.
Psychological warfare. The exact opposite of what Breivik. wanted is what occurred. Instead of screaming for his blood and being torn apart by what happened to them as families and a nation, and instead of arguing politically what should happen to him for his crimes... they unified and in an almost passive aggressive way pestered him with the fact that they still care about each other and they still care about their home and nothing he or anyone else regardless of HOW many people he killed could change that. He wanted to start an uprising politically to change the demographic and instead he empowered them.
They did not sing to "annoy" him – they sang to show unity against his message. And no, scandinavians do not believe in killing criminals, we are civilized countries!
Ask the whales and minks how 'civilized' Scandinavians really are. Get over yourself.
OK, I'll stop complaining about the Kardashians doing everything possible to get and stay in the news. I can deal with their pathetic lives. It doesn't compare to what this moron in Norway is doing to get his 15 minutes.
To J: Please tell me what racist has to do with this article!
What a load of crap. This 'unity' won't last forever. People will always revert back to their human instincts and emotions. Norwegians are delusional.
Guess you've never been to a civilized country? Get out of your cave much?
Don't worry. I'm not much for your "Quality of Life" with its 8 months of ice-age temperatures, no sun, sandals-and-socks, $10 gas, $15 beer, 400%+ taxes on imported goods, etc etc. As for Charlie Manson, that was 4o years ago. You'll have plenty of time with ABB to write books, movies and if you keep singing to him, I'm sure he will help you write the lyrics of the song you'll write about him.
I guess you had to google all this info since it took such a looooong time to comment.....must be one heck of a worldly education you have.
Well done, Norwegians! Killing this guy doesn't do anything to him other than a brief moment of pain. He deserves more than a quick exit. Maybe they can play a recording of this song on a constant loop in his prison cell.
Yes, in fact he said he'd rather be put to death or not prosecuted at all. So let's give the one thing he doesn't want: life in prison.
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