From the Archives: Meeting terror and violence with more democracy

Disclaimer: 1. Once again Max’s laptop/internet in t’ north has been playing up so he’s been unable to publish on time. Appropriate punishment will be enacted accordingly.

2. This post was originally posted on the Birmingham University Labour Students (BULS) blog on the 24th July 2011.

Flowers are placed at the Utvika campsite where victims were evacuated to from Utoeya Island (background) during Friday's shooting massacre, July 24, 2011. REUTERS/Sindre Thoresen Lonnes

“We meet terror and violence with more democracy,” are the words of Eskil Pedersen, leader of the Worker’s Youth League (UAF), the youth-wing of Norway’s Labour party, the governing party and our sister party, upon leaving the island of Utoeya. Given what he and the around 200 other UAF members endured during those fateful and horrific hours on the island can only give you hope in humanity’s ability to better itself and strive for a better world.

This has been a test for the very fabric of Norway which has always prided itself upon, openness, freedom of expression, their feeling of safety, tolerance and equality. The stories and witness accounts of Breivik shooting teenagers in the tents they fled in to. Teenagers attempting to swim away from the island. And Breivik checking the bodies for signs of life of those who decided to play dead for two hours. This shows nothing less than the very worst of humanity. Breivik was fuelled by hate and intolerance for progressive politics and multiculturalism so much so to murder 95 innocent victims with a bombing in Oslo and a horrific shooting spree.

But Pedersen’s words I hope are the ones that truly endure in Norway’s darkest hour. For when presented with the worst humanity can throw at us we must always emulate the very best in our ability to do good.


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