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. Ms. Norway

    This guy represent hate, anger and fanatism – we answere with LOVE, TOLERANCE, DEMOCRACY and SOLIDARITY! I'm proud of being a Norwegian today <3

    April 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Max Powers

      The world is proud of you too!

      April 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. emma

    Nice sentiment but I wonder how many muslim immigrants turned up to sing. They do not accept others and yet continue to emigrate to all parts of the world: these are the people who do not embrace multiculturalism.

    April 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms. Norway

      There where muslims present today, singing out loud!! 'Cause Emma, not all muslims are fanatic haters. And by judging them like you do it doesn't seem like you are any better? Are you? Do you embrace mulitculturalism?

      April 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Appalled.

      @Emma. Way to make a generalization about 2.1 billion people in the world. It's shortsightedness and racist sentiments such as that, that, when amplified, lead to such tragedies, regardless of the nationality or faith of the perpetrator.

      April 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason Jenkins

      "They"? Are you one more person who views an entire group of millions of people as a "they" who all share same outlook and behavior? If you think that anywhere near all Muslims are like that, then you are isolated and ignorant of the real world.

      April 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Max Powers

      That is simply a lie. Most Muslims are so integrated into the societies they live in that you don't notice them.

      April 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shintaro Campos


      April 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      Many imigrants showed up to sing. Many muslims imigrants too. We are one people. Standing together. Singing together. To end hate.

      April 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Solitaire

    Although there is a crack in his brain, I'm glad that his hearing is sufficient to pick up on every single voice being raised against him. A more hated man would be difficult to find in Norway, in fact, the world.

    April 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bwebb


    April 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    @ Sophie, legal system?

    if we are not barbarians, then i guess this guy is cute and sweet and he deserves a fair trial.

    April 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      he is not a sweet guy. This is not about what he deserves. It is about what we deserve. And we deserve to do this correctly and fair. We are not like him. We are better than that.

      April 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scottish Mama

    Clap, clap clap. Norwegians. USA sings with you.

    April 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dave

    Hahaha, I applaud the intent. However, in the killers mind I would think that would just support his belief that Norway has a problem. I doubt it annoys him. He already is annoyed.

    April 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      We are not singing to annoy him. We are singing because it is our song. Our country. We are singing because we choose to sing. We choose to show love. Because "if one man can show so much hate, imagine how much love we can show united".

      April 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Monte

    YES! Hats off to you Norway!

    April 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |

    This just shows that there is hope for humanity.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jill

    This is awesome! When are people like Brevik going to learn that shooting innocents only causes more unity, the very thing he was aiming to dissolve? Idiot.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. South_Carolina

    Just kind of strange to me; how some people like Breivik believes he can control Norway/ Norwegians with violence. What a loser and a disgrace to mankind.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. David B

    Great example to humanity to see you guys pull together.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JerseyJeff

    Things are a bit different in Norway... Here, I think if 40,000 people showed up they would have set the building on fire and danced around it as he burned to death.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Nigliazzo

      Yeah, JerseyJeff, I think you're exactly right. Americans are a collection of misfits and malcontents whose ancestors couldn't exist in the polite society from whence they came. We like nothing more than a good fight. As Patton said, "Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser."

      April 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nik green

    This terrorist Breivik knew exactly what he was doing. He is not crazy, but rather, a sociopath inspired by the US Islamophobic neoconservative cartel, which has massive power and reach in formulating US foreign policy, especially that of the Middle East.

    This agenda of hatred is broadcast to the public via the likes of Daniel Pipes, Michael Ledeen, Pam Geller, Michelle Bachmann, Ann Coulter and many others with heavy corporate media connections. It is supported by the major Israeli lobbies, such as AIPAC and JINSA. And in 2001, the Bush Administration was stacked with people of this mindset, who were busting to go to war in 7 different Mid East nations, like a heroin addict needs that needle.

    The slaughter in Norway is not just the work of Brievik – but equally those who  wrote the racist, hate filled slurry that brainwashed him (and other ultra-gullible) into racism and hatred where the inevitable end result is tragedy.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hippie Hop

    He's right about that song. It is horrible. Hippies wrote the music of kindergarden. Sheesh.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
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