Norway: 40,000 Gather for Anti-Breivik Sing-Along
As many as 40,000 Norwegians on Thursday gathered near the Oslo courthouse where mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik is being tried to stage a sing-along of a pro-multiculturalism song he testified he "despised" as being "Marxist propaganda."
The throngs sang the 'Rainbow Song' and then marched several blocks to the district courthouse where Breivik is on trial. Thousands more Norwegians held similar musical protests in towns across the country.
Organizers say rally to sing the 'Rainbow Song' was intended to demonstrate to Breivik – who killed 77 people in his 22 July 2011 bombing and shooting attacks – that Norway remained a tolerant society.
Observers say that the sudden mass protest is a sign that Breivik – whose chilling and ghastly testimony has rattled Norway – clearly struck a nerve in a country that publicly prides itself on tolerance and justice when he disparaged the song.
Breivik, a self-described anti-Muslim militant, set of a bomb in front of a government building in Oslo, killing 8, before driving to a Labor Party youth camp on Utoya Island, where he shot 100 people – killing 69.
Most of Breivik's victims on Utoya were teenagers.
He has confessed to the crimes, but pleaded not guilty saying his actions were "cruel, but necessary." He charges Norway's liberal immigration policies and pursuit of "multiculturalism" is destroying the country.
Early last week, as he began five days of coldly and implacably delivered testimony, Breivik exploded in a rare show of emotion and broke down crying on the stand. When pressed as to why he was sobbing, he said, "My country is dying."
Breivik, 33, has called his victims “traitors” who deserved death for embracing left-wing values which, in his view, opened Europe to a slow-motion Muslim invasion.
Breivik, who has been in a pitched battle with prosecutors seeking to prove he is insane, said yesterday that he no longer "concerned" about being sent to the "mad house" because people can clearly see he is rational.
Charging that 80% of a psychiatric evaluation diagnosing him as psychotic is fabricated, Breivik denied ever "hearing voices" and said the assertion was "politically motivated."
He has charged more than once that the prosecution strategy of attacking his sanity is intended as a means of officially dismissing his anti-Muslim ideology.
Breivik was found sane by a second – conflicting – psychiatric evaluation which found him capable of normal reasoning and social interaction. On Wednesday, Breivik described himself as having had many friends who always said he was "a very funny person."
Meanwhile, the victims who survived Breivik's bombing in Oslo lined up inside the courthouse to testify.
"I was spitting teeth,” said Harald Foesker, who had been at work in the Ministry of Justice when the 950-kilogram fertilizer bomb went off outside his window.
“I felt at once that this was a terror attack on the government building... I called for help but nobody answered.”
Foesker said that he lost 80 percent of his vision and his face had to be restored afterwards, adding he was proud to live in a country that treated criminal defendants with dignity.