In memory of the Utöya massacre


Yesterday the massacre on the island of Utöya and in central Oslo, Norway, where 77 people were killed was yesterday commemorated on many places in Norway and here in Sweden. Also here in Malmoe. The photo above I took during the concert in memory of the innocent victims of that massacre. The concert was held at the Mill Field Square/Möllevångstorget between 7 and 10 pm last night.

On July 22d 2011 Norway’s capital city Oslo woke up to what they thought would be just an ordinary day. But they were wrong. A political terrorist on the far right-wing had decided to finally strike. Anders Behring Breivik, a blonde Norwegian in his mid-30’s who hated the multicultural society, had feeded his hate and planned his terrorist attack for several years. He wanted to start an anti-multicultural revolution and kill those whom he saw as traitors of the country. It was a very political and cold-blooded terrorist-attack by a man who saw himself as a modern Crusader on the extreme right. The hatred he had inside can be seen also among many others today on the Internet, within political parties and various sub-groups on many places here on Earth. It’s a great tragedy that what he did was not an act of a lone maniac, but based on actual ideologies on the extreme wing still existing. Anders Behring Breivik decided to really, really strike hard on his own country.

That morning on July 22d 2011 he placed bombs close to the Parliamentary buildings in central Oslo. When the bombs blasted it destroyed parts of the buildings, and the first eight people that day died. Breivik hated the ruling government and wanted to make a distinct statement. Then he dressed like a police officer and took a boat to the island of Utöya where the Norwegian Social Democratic Youths in their teens and early adulthood had their summer camp. Gro Harlem Brundtland had been there that day and held a speech and Breivik wanted to kill her too. When he came to the island the ca 500 youngsters and the few adults in charge first just saw a policeman approaching. Then he took up a gun and began shooting people. Panic in the masses. Young people fled all over, and also the grown-ups. Breivik walked around the island and killed as many as he could find. Youngsters hid behind trees and rocks, in cabins, out into the water to swim away from the killing maniac ashore. Some were helped aboard small rowing-boats by people who heard the shots while Breivik shot people in the water which was coloured red by their blood. Cool and relentless he walked calculatingly across the island and killed 68 people there, apart from those already dead in the Parliamentary Buildings in central Oslo. Most of those killed that day were youngsters. When the real Norwegian police arrived to the spot Breivik was arrested, and he showed no remorse, but instead smiled a grim, cool-hearted smile.

When the bombs blasted in central Oslo that morning media and many others were quick to assume that it was Al-Qaeda who had performed another terrorist attack, but as soon as it became clear that it was an “ordinary” Norwegian the tone changed and it was talk about a single maniac, not a political terrorist belonging to an existing ideology. Like all extremists Anders Behring Breivik don’t want a democracy, but a totalitarian state with a Nazi ideology. A society ideal similar to other extremists on the left wing, or religious fundamentalists of various creeds who also seek totalitarian solutions in some form. Breivik was later sentenced in court and imprisoned. One of the young surviving Social Democratic youths from Utöya and who also was in Parliament, Stine Renate Håheim, said a few days after the massacre: “If one man can show so much hate, consider how much love we all can show together”.

Those words of Stine Renate Håheim was mentioned on more than one occasion yesterday evening during the concert called “Till minne av Utöya”/In memory of Utöya”. Her words was also a foundation for the entire atmosphere on the performances and in the audience yesterday. The concert on Möllevångstorget was arranged by Pontus Stenkvist and SSU, the Social Democratic Youth Organization here in Malmoe. The Social Democratic Party here in Sweden was founded here in Malmoe in the 1880’s and has a stronghold here ever since then. SSU also had tables near the stage selling coffee and cakes, but also books and leaflets. The concert itself was for free. It was a fantastic evening. It was warm but not too hot and the beautiful summer sun lingered on in its summer-evening shape. The atmosphere was cosy and the audience mixed. There was a mix of elderly people, middle-aged, young adults, teen-agers, children and infants in waggons. Both women and men, girls and boys, and the ethnic mix was marvellous. Just as it should be on a situation like this. In front of the stage sofas and chairs were placed, but most spectators, (a few hundred of them),  just stood there listening to the music and speeches and talking to each other. The feeling of relaxed companionship, affection and acceptance was ever present.



The concert started though with a number which commemorated the assassinated politician Anna Lindh who was killed at the shopping mall NK in Stockholm in September 2003 by Mijailo Mijailovic who hated all politicians and happened to get his eyes on her that day. The musician Kristoffer Jonzon and Vindla have made a modern musical in her memory and about that assassination called “Anna”. They played a number from that new musical and voices from the news that day and of the Swedish Prime Minister then Göran Persson. Then we heard what Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway two years ago said after the massacre on Utöya and the attack on the very idea of democracy. Malmoe’s new leading politician after Ilmar Reepalu, Katrin Stjernfeldt-Jamme, held a speech where she pinpointed the very idea of democracy and the importance of the words of the young woman who had survived the massacre. Stjernfeldt-Jamme’s words were wise and penetrated the minds. (You see her in one of the photos above). After her speech many different artists appeared on stage: Magnus Tingsek, Krister Jonsson Trio and a speech by Amabassador Jan Eliasson was read. Miriam Aida sang catchy and grunchy reggea songs about love, and companionship and the musicians on stage helped her giving us the rhythms to convey the musical message. Other artists were Maria Davidsson Stille, Alexander Holmgren, Thomas Holst and Jalle Larsson from the old rock band Wilmer X. Another speaker took up the subject of the free word, but also how often totalitarian régimes, past and present, have feared and still fear the global, national and local awareness concerning the state of things. Those régimes often hate, oppress, persue and kill intellectuals. Very true words. At the end of the concert a young man read his poem about hatred and the destructive effects of that hate. When I went home I pondered upon how important this message is for us to survive in the harsh world. It’s a message well considered taking to heart and do what we all can to find a balance between individual pride, ambition and success, and caring about others. No-one can do everything and we can’t take in everyone, but we can all do something for a more dignified and responsible world…For our own sakes, for our own pride, for the pride and responsibility for the planet we all inhabit, for each other and the future generations.

Anders Moberg, July 23d 2013


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