Sunday, May 27, 2018

Thousands defy accused Norway mass killer Breivik in song

OSLO, Norway — They gathered by the tens of thousands, aiming to face down terror with the power of music.

Inspired by a Facebook-organized protest, Norwegians flocked to public squares across the country Thursday, ignored the drenching rain and lifted their voices in song.

Their target: far-right fanatic Anders Behring Breivik, on trial for a bombing-and-shooting rampage that killed 77 people. Their weapon: a children's tune he claims has been used to brainwash the country's youth into supporting immigration.

Defiant sing-alongs of Children of the Rainbow were staged in Oslo and other major Norwegian cities, while in court survivors of Breivik's attacks gave tearful testimony in the ninth day of his trial.

In downtown Oslo alone, about 40,000 people chimed in as Norwegian artist Lillebjoern Nilsen played the song — a Norwegian version of American folk music singer Pete Seeger's My Rainbow Race.

They sang the Norwegian lyrics:

"A sky full of stars, blue sea as far as you can see

An Earth where flowers grow, can you wish for more?

Together shall we live, every sister, brother, you and me

Young children of the rainbow, a fertile land and seashore."

In testimony last week, Breivik mentioned the tune as an example of how he believes "cultural Marxists" have infiltrated Norwegian schools and weakened its society.

Later, the crowd marched to the Oslo courthouse, where they laid a carpet of red and white roses on the steps and the fence.

Reached at home in Beacon, N.Y., the 92-year-old Seeger told the Associated Press he had heard about the mass gathering from Nilsen, who called him Thursday morning.

"I said, 'Oh that's wonderful,' " Seeger said. "It's a tremendous honor, really."

Breivik has admitted setting off a bomb on July 22 outside the government headquarters that killed eight people, and then shooting to death 69 others, mostly teenagers, at the Labor Party's annual youth camp on Utoya island.

Shocked by Breivik's lack of remorse, Norwegians by and large decided the best way to confront him is by demonstrating their commitment to everything he loathes. Instead of raging against the gunman, they have manifested their support for tolerance and democracy.

Comments

Amid rape allegation, Jordaan re-elected SAfrica soccer boss

Danny Jordaan, the chief organizer of the 2010 World Cup, has been re-elected as president of the South African Football Association for a second term despite allegations made by a singer that he raped her 25 years ago
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 4:22 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 4:22 a.m. EDT
Updated: 2 hours ago
Irish turn attention to parliament as abortion ban voted out

Irish turn attention to parliament as abortion ban voted out

Attention is turning to Ireland's parliament now that the country's citizens have voted in landslide numbers to remove the abortion ban from its constitution
Updated: 2 hours ago
Irish turn attention to parliament as abortion ban voted out

Irish turn attention to parliament as abortion ban voted out

Attention is turning to Ireland's parliament now that the country's citizens have voted in landslide numbers to remove the abortion ban from its constitution
Updated: 2 hours ago
AP PHOTOS: German wranglers corral wild stallions

AP PHOTOS: German wranglers corral wild stallions

AP PHOTOS: German wranglers corral wild stallions in annual event
Updated: 2 hours ago

Website: Orlando is 2nd best city for summer jobs

A financial-oriented website is ranking the Orlando area has the nation's second best city for summer jobs
Updated: 2 hours ago

Abbas doctor: Palestinian leader healthy, leaving hospital

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' doctor says the 83-year-old leader is being discharged from hospital
Updated: 2 hours ago

Abbas doctor: Palestinian leader healthy, leaving hospital

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' doctor says the 83-year-old leader is being discharged from hospital
Updated: 2 hours ago

Israeli strike on Gaza militant post kills 2

Palestinian officials say an Israeli strike has killed two people in Gaza, after Israel's military says it targeted a militant observation post in response to an explosive device placed along the border
Updated: 3 hours ago
Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival keeps rain at bay, brings Marshmello, Rezz to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival keeps rain at bay, brings Marshmello, Rezz to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

In the end, we were waiting for a drop that never came.With Subtropical Storm Alberto forming in the southern Gulf of Mexico, it seemed a matter not of if but when but the Sunset Music Festival would suffer its nasty effects — inches of rain, g...
Updated: 3 hours ago