Some 40,000 people gathered today on an Oslo square to sing a popular peace song which mass killer Anders Behring Breivik condemned at his trial.
The terrorist has accused the singer of Children Of The Rainbow, Lillebjørn Nilsen, of being a Marxist who sought to brainwash children. Lillebjørn Nilsen, is a Norwegian artist that put Norwegian words to “My Rainbow Race” originally by Pete Seeger, from 1967. The song was really popular in the 70s, and ABB used this song as an example of our society brainwashing our children. And the response came today!
LilleBjørn Nilsen led the crowd on in singing the song on Youngstorget Square, close to the courthouse.
Inside, the trial heard testimony from survivors of the Oslo bomb attack.
It is the ninth day of Breivik’s trial for the killing of eight people in Oslo and 69 on the island of Utoeya, as well as the wounding of more than 200 others.
He admits the attacks on 22 July last year but denies guilt or insanity.
The five-strong panel of judges at Breivik’s trial will make a ruling on his sanity at the verdict in July.
Breivik may eventually face a term of 21 years in jail, which could be extended if he is thought to be a continuing danger to society.
ABB says he launched his attacks to defend Norway from multiculturalism, and Muslim immigration in particular.
In court last Friday, Breivik attacked Norway’s educational system and singled out Nilsen as a “good example of a Marxist who infiltrated the cultural sector, [who] writes music that is used to brainwash children”.
Nilsen led the singing in the square of Children Of The Rainbow, a Norwegian version of US folk singer Pete Seeger’s My Rainbow Race, which is an anti-war song from his 1973 album of the same name.
Standing under umbrellas in the rain, the crowd sang both the Norwegian and English versions of the song.
Its lyrics include the lines: “Some want to take the easy way/Poisons, bombs! They think we need ’em./Don’t they know you can’t kill all the unbelievers./There’s no shortcut to freedom.”
Singers later headed to the courthouse where the trial was under way, to attach flowers to the security barriers. The hope of the crowd was that people could hear the song inside.
While the song might be Utopian, the message is far from cheesy. ABB thinks we’re brainwashed anyway, but it’s important to show our distance, and support the survivors that testified today.
People also gathered in other towns to perform the song, with the event promoted on social media. I believe todays gatherings have been important for our society, as a response to the trial were we get the horrible actions from last summer analysed and retold. Tonight I feel the need to repeat the end of king Harald speech from last July:
I firmly believe that freedom is stronger than fear.
I firmly believe in an open Norwegian democracy and society
I firmly believe that we will uphold our ability to live freely and securely in our own country