Breivik survivors keep defending their vision of Norway
STAVANGER: On the 10th anniversary of Norway’s worst peacetime massacre, survivors of Anders Behring Breivik’s assault worry that the bigotry which supported the anti-Islamic mass killer is re-emerging in a country known for its progressive politics.
The majority of Breivik’s 77 victims on July 22, 2011, were teen members of the Labor Party – idealists enjoying their yearly camping trip on the peaceful, wooded island of Utoya, in a lake northwest of Oslo, the capital. Today many survivors are fighting to keep their vision for their nation alive.
“I believed that Norway would positively change forever after the attacks. 10 years later on, that hasn’t happened. And in many ways, the hate we see online and the risks against people in the Labor movement have actually increased,” said Aasmund Aukrust, then-deputy leader of the Labor Youth Wing who helped organize the camp.
Today he’s a nationwide legislator marketing for an across the country inquiry into the conservative ideology that inspired the killer.
Aukrust ranged from the bullets flying through the forest then lay hidden for 3 frightening hours while he saw pals killed nearby. A vocal proponent of correctly considering the bigotry and xenophobia in Norway, Aukrust has actually been the target of online abuse, consisting of getting the message that “we want Breivik had done his task.”
The victims of the Utoya massacre originated from towns and towns throughout Norway, turning an individual tragedy into a collective trauma for a number of the nation’s 5.3 million occupants. Survivors were signed up with by a shaken population who were determined to reveal that Norway would end up being more – not less – tolerant and reject the worldview that motivated the killer.
A decade later, some survivors believe that collective determination is subsiding.
“What was really favorable after the terror attacks were that people saw this as an attack on the whole of Norway. It was a way of revealing uniformity,” stated Aukrust. “But that has disappeared. It was an attack on a multicultural society. And though it was the act of someone, we understand that his views are shared by more people today than they were ten years earlier.”
Breivik struck at Labor Party institutions he believed were aiding what he called the “Islamization” of Norway. Dressed as a cop, he landed on Utoya, shooting dead 69 members of the youth wing and injuring ratings more. He had previously murdered eight people in a bomb attack at government structures in Oslo.
“It wasn’t random that it was our summer season camp that was attacked. The hatred was against us due to the fact that of our values of openness and inclusiveness,” stated Sindre Lysoe, a survivor from Utoya who is now the general secretary of the Labor Party’s Youth Wing.
“After Utoya, it was too hard for lots of people to go back to politics. For me and for society, it was really important to raise up once again and resist through more of the great we understood we might do,” he stated. “Prior to 22 July, politics was necessary, later on it became about life and death.”
After hearing about the Oslo battle on the “darkest day of all of our lives,” he remembers his pals informing each other they were in the best location on earth. Within minutes, the shooting and shrieking began on the island. Today Lysoe invests a great deal of his time warning youths about the dangers of right-wing extremism.
In the years following the attack, Norway’s security cops, the PST, continued to rank Islamists as more most likely to perform domestic terrorism than right-wing extremists.
But after the New Zealand mosque attacks in 2019 eliminated 51 individuals, and a copycat attempt by Norwegian shooter Philip Manshaus just outside Oslo later that year in which the killer’s sibling passed away, Norway’s security cops changed its annual evaluations. It now ranks the two types of extremism at the exact same threat level.
“As we progressed into 2013 and 2014, European migration and IS became the prisms that we saw fear through. Norway returned to a narrative of extremism being largely foreign,” stated Bjoern Ihler, who left the bullets by swimming in freezing waters around the island to security.
“There is a failure in self-reflection. We are missing out on the fact that Anders Breivik and Manshaus were Norwegian, however likewise so were a lot of the extremists throughout the last decade that ought to have been captured by our social system,” he said.
Considering that the July 22 attacks, Ihler has ended up being an expert in countering radicalization, establishing the Khalifa-Ihler Institute for Peace Structure and Counter Extremism, encouraging European Union and chairing a panel at the International Internet Online Forum to Counter Terrorism.
Planning the attack from his mom’s home in Oslo, Breivik tapped into an online environment that demonized Islam and cast in doubt Europe’s Christian future. Ihler, who has talked to ratings of reformed extremists, states these internet echo chambers need to be exposed to various voices.
“Regardless of ideology, the reasons they went into radical environments are all rather similar. It has to do with discovering identity and a space where you discover belonging. Whether it is Islamists or reactionary extremists, the basic problem they have is residing in environments with variety,” he said. “The challenging part is assisting them build convenience with that diversity.”
Ihler still believes in the power of standard Norwegian worths such as democracy and rehabilitation in fixing social problems.
Breivik struck at all of these, testing not just the country’s commitment to tolerance and inclusiveness but likewise to nonviolence and merciful justice. Yet he still takes advantage of a justice system that favors rehab over revenge.
While his sentence can be extended if he is still considered unsafe, Breivik is serving his 21 years in a three-room cell with access to a health club and video game, luxuries that would be unthinkable even for minor bad guys in other countries.
“It is best that he is dealt with humanely,” said Ihler. “We don’t wish to go down the same path of violence. We need to continue revealing individuals that there are much better methods of handling the concerns we have.”
Published at Mon, 19 Jul 2021 07:22:23 -0500
Rhine river partly closed in Germany to shipping by floodwaters
HAMBURG: Parts of the river Rhine in south Germany stayed near shipping on Monday after an increase in water levels following current downpour, German authorities said.
The southern Rhine rose recently after record rainfall and floods which have actually eliminated a minimum of 157 people, Germany’s worst natural catastrophe in almost six decades.
Rhine river shipping remains stopped around Maxau and Speyer in south Germany, the German inland waterways navigation firm said.
The high water levels makes passing under bridges impossible and avoids vessels cruising to Switzerland.
Nevertheless, dry weather over the weekend and on Monday morning has resulted in falling water levels, permitting shipping in the northern sectors of the river from Mannheim to Duisburg to run normally, the company said.
The Rhine is an important shipping path for commodities including minerals, coal and oil items such as heating oil, grains and animal feed.
Southern sections of the river are not expected to open till later on this week, the environment company in the southern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said.
Released at Mon, 19 Jul 2021 06:47:40 -0500