May 21, 2013
Truthdiggers of the Week: 40,000 Brave Norwegians
Posted on Apr 27, 2012
For proving that love for others, regardless of creed, gender or skin color, is still a powerful force in human affairs, we honor the 40,000 Norwegians who sang out in an Oslo square on Thursday against the violent dogma of mass killer Anders Breivik. They are our Truthdiggers of the Week.
Breivik slaughtered 77 people during a pair of attacks on a Norwegian government building and a youth Labour Party camp last July. Since the beginning of his trial on April 16, he has defended those acts as “necessary” to prevent what he thinks is the more “barbaric act” of Muslim influence upon European society. He has rejected charges of criminal guilt and claimed to be a true patriot, saying his victims betrayed their country by embracing multiculturalism, a set of ideas that seeks to promote social well-being through the development of tolerant, culturally diverse communities.
Unsettlingly, Breivik has his sympathizers. Massachusetts resident Kevin Forts, 23, in an interview with a Norwegian reporter, came out in support of the mass murderer at the beginning of Breivik’s trial, calling the lives lost as a result of his day of terror “a necessary political sacrifice.”
But for every declaration of support for the monstrous way in which Breivik expressed his views, there are untold vows of resistance. Fortunately, for those who seek consolation in the dark aftermath of the tragedy, 40,000 of those vows were made audible just outside the courtroom where Breivik stands trial.
Taken as a solemn pledge, the public chorus of “Children of the Rainbow,” a song based on a 1973 hymn by American folk artist Pete Seeger and led on Thursday by Norwegian folksinger Lillebjorn Nilsen, seems more like an act of affirmation than dissent. Shaken by the horrific violence, these people braved a cold rain to tell the world they want to live in a society where all people have the opportunity to find their place. And such an experience emboldens those who may previously have felt alone in the suffering they felt after Breivik’s massacre.
Lucky for you, the reader, you didn’t have to be in that crowd on Thursday to experience what Bragg describes. The video below will take you there right now. The lyrics immediately fellow. Sing along and see for yourself.
—Alexander Reed Kelly
One blue sky above us
Some folks want to be like an ostrich,
Go tell, go tell all the little children.
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