Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer
An estimated 40,000 people gather in Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing "Children of the Rainbow," a song derided by mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.
April 26th, 2012
10:21 AM ET

Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer

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.

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Filed under: Anders Behring Breivik • Crime • Norway
soundoff (638 Responses)
  1. Roelof

    1 Breivik attack, .. vs 18.786 Islamic attacks. But hey Breivik wasn't a incident. It's all to blame on white 'right' people.

    April 26, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • nice try

      thats a very specific number "18.786" really, you used a period instead of a comma too so its obviously very precise...well done. but on a serious note, you are the reason why we have these lunatics in the first place, everyone trying to justify one horrific act with another. the "islamic attackers" are doing the same thing recalling the "christian attackers" so whose to blame. the chicken or the egg?

      April 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      He used a period because that is the way most of the non-US world does it (instead of a comma). I'm not sure if you were trying to be funny or are just ignorant...

      April 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      Yes. Anders Behring Breivik and the people who support his ideas are white people, so if you limit your definition of white people so that it only includes white people who spread hate against muslims (mostly, but they are not too happy with anyone else either), then you are right. We do blame white people.

      On the other hand our singing protest is not about hate. It is about love. If someone is spreading hate you don't stop hate by hating. You stop hate with love.

      And hate is the same who ever is spreading it. Our song, our love is a cry for the whole world to stop the crazy spiral of hate and start caring about eachother and the planet we live on.

      As Norwegians we were attaced as a nation, and we have answered as a nation. With love. And I hope the world hear us. Because we live on this tiny little planet together and everything is connected to everything. When i eat dinner my vegtable may be made in China and the fish in Canada and the potato in Brasil. We are one people, living in one small little planet. We really need to stop hating eachother and killing eachother. It is time...

      So that is why we sing. Because they brought this stupid hate to us... and tried to tell us it was a war to protect us... We do not need protection from muslims, noor from marxists or feminist. We need protection from people spreading hate towards others. And you do not stop hate with hate. You stop hate by showing love. So that is why we sing. That is what our rose is about.

      Our society is not perfect, but it will not be better by bringing more hate and more restrictions or harder punishments into it. It will be better by us caring more about eachother, by us showing more openness, giving more freedom to people and most of all by creating more love and more beauty around us...

      I hope the world can understand our rose and our song because the truth is that when a people pick up a rose and go out into the streats and sing about taking care of the planet we live on and the people who live on it... that is more powerfull than any gun. There is no weapon created who can stop a people singing with a rose and having decided to prove that love is so, so, so much stronger than hate.

      And our love is not limited to skincolours or religion. It is love. It is for everyone who wants it. And it really is magical. You should try it sometime.

      April 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Really? Blame all white people? White victimology on the right is so hokey. It's all based on the Good Old Days when only white males reached the levers of power or got good paying jobs. No one but old white males think it was good. To give those men everything, they had to take it from women and minorities. White males victims? If you condone killing children to prove a point then your just as big a monster. I don't care if your a white guy or a muslim or a catholic or latino.... ...killing children is sick and defending it is just as sick. Go back to Fox news and pine away for the good old days with Rush and O'reilly. The are never coming back.

      April 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ayna

    I love my country for this, and it makes me so proud. And to those who wonder what the victims' families think of all this, I am certain some of them wish Breivik dead. However, others, even survivors from that horrible day, are all for him having a fair trial with a good lawyer. Maybe hearing his statements (though painful) and seeing him sentenced, will bring them some kind of closure. Also, he will pay for his crimes every day for decades to come. Death would be too easy.

    April 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ohsnap

      You should be proud! Makes me want to visit.

      April 26, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • micheleodea

      Death would be far too easy. I wanted to say I loved this story, I'm incredibly humbled by the outpouring of humanity against such an inhuman act. And I agree with the person before you... the hate HAS to stop SOMEWHERE. Unfortunately, not all hate is so simple; sometimes it's pure insanity and all the love in the world can't cure it, but the world certainly doesn't need more of it. Cheers to all of Norway from at least one person in the US.

      April 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jt_flyer

    They should all have lip-synced. People hate that.

    April 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another Guest

      Funny.

      April 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. yo

    Det er fredag​​, fredag​​, fikk komme ned på fredag.

    April 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Katrine

    This song is a song everyone in Norway knows, and when ABB took the song away from us by using it in a wrong way, we wanted to take it back. Norway have stood together since July 22. and we will stand together forever. This day changed all our lives here in Norway, and it`s a day that will be remembered forever. And we show support to everyone who lost somebody and we have the ones we lost in our hearts. ABB will not be allowed to make Norway different, Norway is and always will be a place that everyone is equal, no matter what you look like.

    April 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lyrker

    I wonder if he heard it.

    I hope he did.

    April 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Reasonable1

    Excellent. This is the difference between Norway and Pakistan. Norwegian people come together against a mass murderer. Pakistani people come together to honor mass murderers and terrorists. I hope everyone learns from this example.

    April 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • denverboy

      Errrr..I think your missing the point of the Song and the reason..It's not lesson in distenction between different cultures but and affermation that we ore of meny DIFFERNT culturs and Colors ....DOnt try and own somthing your against....

      April 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      And many norwegians are also Pakistanis... And they are also standing in the streets holding a rose. Singing...

      April 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. denverboy

    I love it.....In your face to all Racist... We are one world..of meny different colors....and that is a great grand glorious thing....make the small minded small..and give great voice to thoes who seek peace...and harmoney for all peoples on this Earth.....Right On....Sing on....

    April 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • john biggs

      Very cool Brother. Excellent.

      April 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. penguin

    A fitting punishment would be for him to be put in a pure white cell with pictures of his victims projected as a slide show on the wall while that song is played 24/7.

    April 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bob

    well obviously if you think Breivik and ilk and ideolghy are a threat based on evidence and fact then obviously you must demand the immediate removable of muslims from the west

    April 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bob

    @ denverboy face what idiot ? the fact is
    the rest of the world remains extremely xenophobic and racist and do not subscribe to mass immigration and will never allow their culture or heritage to stolen ... if white infidels tried to immigrate to the mid east on mass they would be murdered. same with asia they don't do immigration so shut the hell up

    April 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • john biggs

      Get Real. In the beginning, THEIR WERE NO CULTURES. It's just a situation where people fear change. Whether you like it or not, cultures change EVERY DAY. Hair cuts to clothes to EVERYTHING. It is enevitable. Your grandfather would have things to say about your current lifestyle, I'm certain.

      April 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      our cultural heritage is that of human rights, of democracy of equality. How could we protect our cultural heritage by following the ideas of a rightwinged extremist who do not respect our democracy, who show no respect for human rights and who absolutely not value equality between humans? Breiviks ideology is the complete opposite of our cultural heritage.

      April 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      The world need to lissten to us then. And change their ways.

      April 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. AndyJupiter

    Hate shmate.... there's plenty to go around. Every city, country, every continent.... finger pointing and the tired child-like fears of those who are different. You go Norway.

    April 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. wolfy

    They should play Lux Aeterna "Requiem For A Dream" instead. Breivik's favorite song he played on his ipod while firing his guns..

    April 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jed

    I'm absolutely positive if Breivik minded people were to have complete and total control in government and policy, they too would be very happy and loving in the same manner. And it would be those so-called and self-acclaimed lovers singing today, who would be pulling a Breivik against them while living in oppression and isolation from the norm of society. The bottom line is: You must afford the exact same amount of toleration, respect, and understanding that you are so adamantly trying to push and reflect by this mass singing stint. Looks like nothing else but a Nazi Party rally with love being the facade. For if love was the honest motivation behind this, then there wouldn't be such a display of intentional annoyance/hate. ; )) ~ Also, notice how CNN is always reporting on how there are more and more interracial couples, and reporting false projections of how in 50 years whites will be a minority. This biased and offensive "choice" in news reporting not only provokes reactionaries like Breivik, it shares in responsibility for it. Furthermore, this "choice" is highly reflective of an intentional agenda to mix all races into one....claiming love is to be on their side. I highly doubt love is on their side, when the reasoning they're using to project such a biased "choice" is very easily defeated by superior reasoning to the contrary. We shall not live by an inferior and mediocre reasoning, at best.

    April 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      Love is on our side. And we are one race... the human family... it really is that simple. And it really don't make us into nazis. We brought our roses to the streets singing because we wanted to, not because anyone told us too. It is our country. It is our culture. Us, the Norwegians of all colours and religious beliefs... On a rainy thursday at lunch time 1% of the Norwegian population decided to stop working, leave everything and go out in the street. holding a rose. Singing about rainbows. This is not a small movement. This is the Norwegian people talking. The soul of a country. We are answering love with hate. Because we want to and because we are free to do so. Our revenge to hate is to show that we will never choose hate or fear. We choose love... its just that simple

      April 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Name*Ibe1978g

    Thanks Noraway this the truest way to kill hate. Take a note Florida .

    April 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
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