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. Rational Libertarian

    I don't advocate state atheism, just secularism. I wouldn't deny anybody the right to practise their religion, but they have to accept that their archaic beliefs should not be legislated. Muslims particularly (not all, but many) have difficulty assimilating, and believe their religious code supercedes law. Sharia courts are now part of the British legal system, once the greatest legal system in the world and the basis for most Western legal systems.

    Also, atheism is just non belief, not a religion. There is no "practicing" involved in atheism. Atheists come from all backgrounds and share no common code of practice. All we share is non belief.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      For years i have been working against the hate that created the Norwegian terrorist. I have been working together with muslims. FOr just as long i have been working against radicalisation of muslims. I have been working with muslims... Muslims are most of all different from eachother. they are no more one group than any other religious group are...

      April 27, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. Alex

    @ Sufiwoman.Can I move to Norway? You guys sound chill ^.^
    @ Rational Libertian.Hippy crap? Its a song about love and harmony.and it seems you could use some more of that in your life.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Love and harmony is hippy crap. I tolerate others, I don't love people (except my mother, and sometimes my father) and my relationship with most people is far from harmonious. Why should I love people I don't know or don't like? Most people, myself included, are cretinous fools to be avoided.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      Our demodratic prosses has created pretty tough imigrationlaws at the moment. But you are welcome to try 🙂 Remember to bring a rose 😀

      April 27, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • julie johansen

      We are usually a chill people, but we have ours problem.. Not all is what it seems to be her in Norway..

      April 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sufiwoman

    You have to know... we are a country where the muslims are inviteing the others to come and have tea with them. And where the the antiracists have decided to invite the raceists for a barbeque in the park. We are done fighting. We choose LOVE...

    April 27, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'd gladly have tea with a Muslim. I once worked with a Muslim guy. He was a bit strange but he was fairly amiable. However, I've met many Christians and Muslims who were not only fundamentalists themselves, they also expected others around them to adhere to their strict religious code.

      Also, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't equate anti religion with racism. I'm not accusing you of this, but many liberals equate the two. I've criticisized Islamic beliefs before and have been accused of racism, which is ridiculous.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. sufiwoman

    To sit in a corner and be angry at the world. And to choose not to participate in democracy. To choose not to meet people with love and harmony. That is your choice and your right. We just choose not to. We choose love...

    April 27, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm not angry with the world. Being angry with the world is like being angry with a toaster. I get quite angry with stupid people and religious people. Otherwise, I'm a pretty amiable, happy guy. Just because I don't buy into a bunch of hippy crap about love and harmony doesn't mean I'm not happy.

      Also, I do participate in democracy. Not voting is not the same as not participating.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ann Kristoffersen

    So we norwegian peope sang the song to annoy the mass killer? We did it because of revenge? LOL. I think someone missed the point!! And I'm really not suprised! It's sad that some people just have to misunderstood.....Anyway we did it for us, and we can't expect the rest of the world to understand....... Well there are norwegians who sang too, who didn't got the point. A woman claimed that iwas a revenge. Yeah yeah.. It's a crazy world.......

    April 27, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Obviously you don't get the point if you dismiss the woman who claimed it was revenge. Perhaps it was revenge for her, perhaps it was to embrace love and harmony, like sufiwoman. Both are valid reasons to these individuals, and neither is right or wrong.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      i was in the middle of the crowd. There was no anger. No revange. And no one talked about the terrorist. We sang quietly about rainbows and children. while we walked in the street holding a rose.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. B. Childress

    If Brievak is as "rational" as "Rational Libertine" is, no wonder he is sitting where he is today. It sounds as if RL has been to too many meeting wearing a sheet.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Please point out any instances of racism in my posts.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Also, I'm not a libertine.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • julie johansen

      Breivik is a very sick person, mentally.. Everyone whos seen him in court knows that.. He`s smiles when victims tell theyre story, smiles when a mother tells that her little children where so scared, and that they are afraid of the future. When the names and victims of the 69 children in Utøya where listed up- he smiled,and said "i would have done it all again. And im not happy that peple survied.".. Thoose who are observing he`s mental state of mind, dont even know actually whats wrong. They have never seen a person like this..He belongs in a psyciatric hospital, and never be free again. But death penallty? No, thats wrong.

      April 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Left wing vs right wing

    I'm sorry if Sufiwoman is doing a lot of propaganda. No hate? Yes there was hate in the crowd. But I think maybe you got a little to much of something not good for you. I tend to agree with RL. And I have not seen any racism yet in his/her comments. Sufiwoman on the other hand.. better than the rest of us in all ways..
    Told you. Any other opinions than her and the other blind people is not accepted. No need to argue any more RL, she will not understand what you are talking about anyway.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I know. It's like talking to a brick wall. Also, I hate being accused of things I'm not guilty of, racism in this case. Childress implied that I'm in the Klan, a Christian racist group, yet I'm an atheist who doesn't care about race.

      Liberals think that everything they believe in is sacred and when they come up against a difficult, they either resort to blind idiocy or ridiculous accusation.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      it is not that i do not under stand. I just don't agree.

      And i have not said that you are a racist. I have said that there is a group based hate rethoric in the antiislam movement wich is simular too or equal to racism. Muslim are not one group of people. They are memebers of a world religion who just like christians are induviduals who differ from eachother.

      And propaganda? YES!!! i have made no secret of the fact that i wish the worl could join in singing and holding roses. As a way of solving conflict in this world roses beats the crap out of screaming for revenge and going to war.

      And there is no hate in our protest. It is a cry for humanity. Hate will destroy the values we are trying to protect. I m sorry you don't understand that. We love our nation. It wass attacted by a man claiming to protect our culture. He is not alone in his cry for war. We do not need, nor do we want their war or their protection. So we choose to protect our society, our values, our people, our nation by showing love... and sing our songs. It is that simple. And we are not trying to annoy the terrorist. But we would like him to hear us, and understand that his plan has backfired and our country is stronger in its belief in equality and democracy than before his attac. We want him to know that he has failed. We are not going to follow his hate. We choose love...

      April 27, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. Anette

    Being Norwegian myself, I feel people feel much more hate than the media and the people themselves want to admit. One of the most used quotes is "If a man can show so much hate, think of all the love all of us can show together?". But I think that's wrong – this man killed many innocent children in cold blood, and then meet every horrific descriptions in court with a cold and stone like face. He shook our nation to the core in a very, very gruesome way, so why should our first reaction to this be love and fuzzy feelings?

    Yeah, we handled this beautifully as a nation, but at the same time, the roses and the songs kind of hide our true feelings. If it was my daughter, as hard as it is to imagine, I would have told them "I want that man dead as soon as possible."

    It may be tabu in our country to want death penalty, but I really can't imagine the feeling of love being stronger than hate in this situation. Many, many, MANY people want that man tortured and then killed, believe me. We are not a more "chilled out" nation than the US (as an example), we are just taught by our culture to say the sensible, humane and humble things. And ofc the media wants to portray us in a certain way to make us seem like the perfect country.

    You cry silently, stay level headed and say the right things publicly, and then you shout and curse and yell at home. That's Norwegians for ya.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Well put.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bente

      Anette....of course a lot of norwegians feels hate against the killer, and i don't think anyone find that the least bit strange! But that is not the point. If you think for a moment that the love and support we try to show is for HIM, you have misunderstood severely. After 22/7 we had a choice. We could go out in the streets with sticks and stones, scream out hatred and rage and cry for revenge. OR we could decide to not let this man make more damage than he already has done, and instead concentrate to show our support for the victims, for all those who's lifes he has destroyed. And show that he has not, and no one will ever, succeed in scaring us into abandonning what most norwegians cherish and stand for. As Sufiwoman wrote earlier....and as I, and many with me, strongly believe...hate makes more hate in the world, and love makes more love (I don't know about "the fuzzy feelings" though) – so for us, the choice was not hard to make. It is as simple...and hard as that. Others again don't feel as I do, and I'm sure they were not singing loudly on Youngstorget yesterday either. Because that is another thing our culture has told us...we have a choise.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. iraiiiiiiinian

    the americans prefer to kill 100,000 innocent civilians in an unrelated country when a nutcase lets loose on them.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gudrid

    Sorry for my bad English.

    Many who attended Thursday made ​​it as a peaceful revenge, even if the opinion of those who organized this was something else. I know many who attended just to annoy Breivik. They wanted to terrorize him psychologically with a song he hates.

    Although demostrating peacefully and with dignity is typical Norwegian. But so we don`t know how we would have reacted if the terrorist was a Muslim. What we know is that shortly after the bomb went off many believed that it was Al-Quaida. Muslims were hunted down and were beaten.

    If the terroristt was a Muslim, then the 40,000 would have turned their anger against the Muslims and hunted them down.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gudrid

    I'm afraid that many Norwegians wouldn`t be peaceful if he was a Muslim.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rational Libertarian

    Ghandi was militantly passive aggressive, the Dalai Lama is a wannabe theocrat and Jesus is a fictional liberal. Not a great influential lineup.

    April 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • brannmannsam

      your annoyance seems a bit... irrational?

      April 28, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. David

    This "love" makes me sick

    April 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bente

      David...I hope you will recover soon. And try to look at it this way. Love makes you sick, but hate is more likely to kill you, so hang in there 🙂

      April 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Trond from Norway

    I think that hate and revenge create more evil. To gather and sing against massmurderers or racists, I think must be a great thing.
    Just to know that you have the population against you must be extremely demoralizing.

    April 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Yrr

    I'm Norwegian, and I'm about to puke soon..

    I just say, once we were Vikings!
    What the hell happened?

    April 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
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