Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin
NORWAY MARKS TRAGEDY
OSLO: Survivors of Norway’s worst massacre since World War II called for the country to stand up against the hatred that motivated right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik’s killing spree exactly 10 years ago.
Breivik set off a bomb near the government’s headquarters in Oslo killing eight people before shooting dozens at a summer camp organised by the Labour Party’s youth league (AUF) on the island of Utoya, leaving another 69 dead – most of them teenagers.
“July 22 was not a random act. It was not a natural disaster,” Astrid Eide Hoem, a survivor who has since become head of the AUF, said in a speech on Utoya.
“It was a targeted political terror attack, driven by an extremist rightwing ideology. By hate.”
The massacre on the island lasted 72 minutes, as Breivik stalked and shot panicked young people trapped on the tiny island in cold blood.
Breivik later said he had aimed to stage “a fireworks display” to draw attention to a 1500-page antiimmigrant, anti-Marxist screed he dubbed a “manifesto” targeting those he blamed for ushering in the multiculturalism he abhorred.
“Ten years ago we travelled to Utoya to change the world. But then our world was changed forever,” Eide
Hoem said. “The deadly racism and right-wing extremism live among us. Hate has killed before and hate can kill again.”
The 26-year-old ended her speech with a call to action: “Now we must settle our accounts with racism and right-wing extremism. Every single day.” She and other survivors feel that even 10 years on Norway has still not
truly faced up to the ideology that drove Breivik. Speaking to survivors and relatives of the victims at a morning ceremony near the government complex where Breivik detonated his 950kg homemade bomb, Prime Minister Erna Solberg urged empathy and tolerance.
“We must not let hate stand unopposed,” she said.
Church bells nationwide rang out in honour of the victims just after noon.
Shortly after the attacks, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, who was Norway’s Labour prime minister at the time, promised to respond with “more democracy” and “more humanity”.
“Ten years ago, we met hatred with love,” he said at a memorial service. “But the hatred is still present.”