Our answer is more democracy

Its been an incomprehensible weekend in Norway. Being far away from harms way all life revolves around flows of information. First the unbelievable news of bombs in the center of peaceful Oslo. Then, while still trying to process this, shootings on Utöya. The latter was so strange it was easily ignored. Then slowly the reality of the actions became clear. A total nutcase – acting out of sick ideology – had planted the bombs as a diversion and then traveled to an island where a political youth camp was meeting. Dressed as a policeman he called the youths to him and opened fire. His bloodbath lasted 1,5 hours. One of the survivors: Prableen Kaur blogged about her experiences in a post entitled Helvete på Utøya (Hell on Utoya translated here).

The total death toll in Oslo and Utöya is now 93 lives lost.

The gunman was caught, identified, images of him came online. His Facebook & Twitter accounts “discovered”. They were started on the 17th July and contained only a quote “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests” The quote is by John Stuart Mill – he would probably be sick to be misquoted in this way. Facebook removed the account but his Twitter remains online.

While the official death toll increased and rescue teams worked heroically – more information about the gunman became available. This peaked with the discovery of his 1500 page manifesto “2083 A European Declaration of Independence” written under the pseudonym Andrew Berwick.

This work has supposedly been written over a period of nine years and is an awful mix of puerile history, incoherent anti-islamist, ignorant theory, planning for the deeds and a glorifying self interview. The manifesto seems to have been a necessity in order to present his actions as a part of what he believes to be a European revolution against multi-culturism. The work would be simply be seen as embarrassing if it wasn’t for the actions he carried out.

Update: Not only is the work messy, incoherent, racist crap. Much of it is plagiarized from other sources – among others from the Unibombers (Ted Kaczynski) Manifesto.

The best to emerge is the reaction of the Norwegian people and that of the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg whose speech today  is brilliant. It contains the words

Vi er fortsatt rystet av det som traff oss, men vi gir aldri opp våre verdier.

Vårt svar er mer demokrati, mer åpenhet og mer humanitet. Men aldri naivitet.

We are still shaken by what has happened but we will never give up our values. Our answer is more democracy, more openness and more humanity. But never naivety.


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