Tag Archives: Norway

Tunisian pro-democracy group accepts Nobel Peace Prize

A Tunisian pro-democracy group accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 10 and set the fight against terrorism and helping Palestinians to achieve self-determination as global priorities.

The National Dialogue Quartet, which won the Peace Prize for helping build democracy in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, accepted the award at a ceremony in Oslo held under tight security following the armed attacks in Paris on Nov. 13.

“Today we are most in need of making the fight against terrorism an absolute priority, which means perseverance on coordination and cooperation between all nations to drain its resources,” Hussein Abassi, head of the Tunisian General Labour Union, one of the quartet honored, said in a speech.

“We need to accelerate the elimination of hot spots all over the world, particularly the resolution of the Palestinian issue and enable the Palestinian people the right to self-determination on their land and build their independent state,” he said.

Security precautions loomed large over the banquets and concerts for hundreds of political, intellectual and business leaders attending the lavish Nobel awards ceremonies held jointly in Oslo and Stockholm.

“Security is higher than it would otherwise have been because of the situation in Europe,” Johan Fredriksen, chief of staff for Oslo police told Reuters, referring to the Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed.

Last year, a demonstrator carrying a Mexican flag disrupted the ceremony at Oslo City Hall when Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi received their Nobel Peace Prizes. He was not a guest but managed to get through the security checkpoints.

The quartet of the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers was formed in the summer of 2013. It won the award for the role it played in the peaceful transition of power in Tunisia in a region struggling with violence and upheaval.

With a new constitution, free elections and a compromise arrangement between Islamist and secular leaders, Tunisia has been held up as a model of how to make the transition to a democracy from dictatorship, said Kaci Kullman Five, head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Last year Tunisia held successful legislative and presidential elections but the country has been hit by violence this year. In March, Islamist gunmen killed 21 tourists in an attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, and 38 foreigners were killed in an assault on a Sousse beach hotel in June.

“In this time of terror, the threats against Tunisia and the Tunisian people are indistinguishable from the threats against other countries,” she said in her speech. “I came here to share this extraordinary moment with the whole of Tunisia. I am so proud,” said Haddad Fayssal, a 39-year-old Tunisian engineer from Paris, draped with the red-and-white flag of the North African nation over his shoulders.

“This prize is a powerful message against all types of extremism and terrorism. It is a message that we can all live together,” he told Reuters outside Oslo City Hall, the peace award ceremony’s venue.

In neighboring Sweden, the Nobel Prize winners in literature, chemistry, physics, medicine and economics gathered in Stockholm to receive their prizes from the King of Sweden later in the day.

Belarussian author Svetlana Alexievich won the literature prize for her portrayal of the harshness of life in the Soviet Union

In Stockholm, the winners will collect their medals at a concert hall before attending a banquet at the city hall, which will include VIPs like European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

Security around the festivities — which has hundreds of royals and prominent politicians as guests — has also been heightened this year after Sweden raised its terror threat level to the highest ever after the Paris attacks. Each of the prizes is worth 8 million Swedish crowns ($949,440).

100,000 call for Manning to receive Nobel Peace Prize

About 100,000 people have signed an internet petition saying they think gay Army Pfc. Bradley Manning should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The petition is being circulated by RootsAction.org and the co-founder of the cyber activist group, Norman Solomon, says he has plans to deliver the petition to the Nobel committee in Oslo later this week.

Manning was formally nominated for the prize by recipient Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, who has said, “I can think of no one more deserving.” She said Manning, convicted of espionage for relaying hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, helped end the Iraq War and “and may have helped prevent further conflicts elsewhere.”

Manning faces up to 136 years in prison for leaking diplomatic cables, plus 470,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and some warzone video while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010.

He said he leaked the material to expose wrongdoing by the military and U.S. diplomats.

Prosecutors said Manning is a traitor and leaking the material threatened U.S. security and the lives of servicemembers.

Barack Obama is the last American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He received the honor in 2009, the first year of his presidency.

On the Web…

http://rootsaction.org/featured-actions/615-bradley-mannings-nobel-peace-prize

Lesbian couple called heroes in Norway shooting

A married lesbian couple is credited with saving 40 young people from the right-wing shooter who gunned down 76 in twin attacks in Norway on July 23.

Hege Dalen and her spouse Toril Hansen were having dinner on the shore opposite a youth campsite on Utoyan Island when Anders Behring Breivik, a self-described fundamentalist Christian, opened fire there. Breivik reportedly told police he hoped to incite a war on Muslims.

“We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake,” Dalen told the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

The newspaper reported that the couple immediately took action and drove their boat to the island, where they picked up victims in the water who were wounded and in shock, then transported them to the opposite shore to the mainland. Between runs they saw that bullets had hit the right side of their boat.

The newspaper reported: “Since there were so many and not all fit at once aboard, they returned to the island four times. They were able to rescue 40 young people from the clutches of the killer.”

Norway’s Television 2 verified the accuracy of the Finnish account by phone, adding that the Norwegian government has publicly noted the couple’s actions.

Breivik’s killing spree began with a car bombing in Oslo that was intended to target Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. The prime minister was not injured in the attack, but seven others died and more than 15 were seriously wounded.

Hours after the bombing, Breivik entered the youth camp, dressed as a police officer. He told camp leaders that he was conducting a routine precautionary check following the Oslo bombing.

Once he gained access to the camp, Breivik opened fire on everyone in sight.

Breivik has confessed to authorities for the killings.

Lesbian couple hailed as heroes in Norway shooting

A married lesbian couple is being credited with saving 40 young people from the right-wing shooter who gunned down 76 people in twin attacks in Norway on July 23.

Hege Dalen and her spouse Toril Hansen were having dinner on the shore opposite a youth campsite on Utöyan Island when Anders Behring Breivik, a self-described fundamentalist Christian, opened fire there. Breivik reportedly told police he hoped to incite a war on Muslims.

“We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake,” Dalen told the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

The newspaper reported that the couple immediately took action and drove their boat to the island, where they picked up victims in the water who were wounded and in shock, then transported them to the opposite shore to the mainland. Between runs they saw that bullets had hit the right side of their boat.

The newspaper reported: “Since there were so many and not all fit at once aboard, they returned to the island four times. They were able to rescue 40 young people from the clutches of the killer.”

Norway’s Television 2 verified the accuracy of the Finnish account by phone, adding that the Norwegian government has publicly noted the couple’s actions.

Breivik’s killing spree began with a car bombing in Oslo that was intended to target Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. The prime minister was not injured in the attack, but seven others died and more than 15 were seriously wounded.

Hours after the bombing, Breivik entered the youth camp, dressed as a police officer. He told camp leaders that he was conducting a routine precautionary check following the Oslo bombing.

Once he gained access to the camp, Breivik opened fire on everyone in sight.

Breivik has confessed to authorities for the killings.

Lesbian couple hailed as heroes for rescuing 40 youth from Norway killer

A married lesbian couple is being credited with saving 40 young people from the right-wing shooter who gunned down 76 people in twin attacks in Norway on July 23.

Hege Dalen and her spouse Toril Hansen were having dinner on the shore opposite a youth campsite on Utöyan Island when Anders Behring Breivik, a self-described fundamentalist Christian, opened fire there. Breivik reportedly told police he hoped to incite a war on Muslims.

“We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake,” Dalen told the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

The newspaper reported that the couple immediately took action and drove their boat to the island, where they picked up victims in the water who were wounded and in shock, then transported them to the opposite shore to the mainland. Between runs they saw that bullets had hit the right side of their boat.

The newspaper reported: “Since there were so many and not all fit at once aboard, they returned to the island four times. They were able to rescue 40 young people from the clutches of the killer.”

Norway’s Television 2 verified the accuracy of the Finnish account by phone, adding that the Norwegian government has publicly noted the couple’s actions.

Breivik’s killing spree began with a car bombing in Oslo that was intended to target Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. The prime minister was not injured in the attack, but seven others died and more than 15 were seriously wounded.

Hours after the bombing, Breivik entered the youth camp, dressed as a police officer. He told camp leaders that he was conducting a routine precautionary check following the Oslo bombing.

Once he gained access to the camp, Breivik opened fire on everyone in sight.

Breivik has confessed to authorities for the killings.

More blood on the right’s hands

“It was international jihadism that we feared,” said a Norwegian leader about the terrorist bombing and massacre of young liberals in his country. “But what we have now is more painful in terms of a re-evaluation of ourselves.”

What’s true for Norway is equally true for the United States. Our country is more politically fractured than ever. Polarization has been exacerbated by economic collapse and unemployment. And our anything-goes media often fan the flames of unreason and resentment through sensational and inaccurate reporting.

I hope the Department of Homeland Security is investigating domestic extremists – and I don’t mean Quakers signing petitions against our foolish wars. Conservatives, always on offense, attacked DHS a few years back for documenting how the economic and political climate was fueling a resurgence in radicalization and recruitment among right-wing groups, including private militias. The DHS, thoroughly cowed, withdrew the report and unwisely cut the number of analysts tracking domestic terrorism from six to two.

The report had cited an increase in anti-government rhetoric, conspiracy theories, resentment about immigration – a laundry list of things that motivated Norway’s Anders Breivik and our own Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people in Oklahoma City in 1995.

I worked as director of the Wisconsin Center for Pluralism for six years. The center studied and tracked right-wing activity across the state. I attended right-wing conferences, monitored extremist websites and interviewed many true believers. I always was, and still am, shocked by the casual violence of right-wing rhetoric and it came to mind again thinking about the horrific events in Norway.

At the Wisconsin Conser-vative Leadership Conference in 2006, Madison radio squawker Vicki McKenna urged the audience to challenge the “left-ended world view” of the mainstream media “until we kill them, until they are deader than dead.”

At the same meeting, Chris Kliesmet of Citizens for Responsible Government repeatedly referred to politics as a “blood sport” and reveled in the current “target-rich environment.”

Stanley Zurawski Sr,. of Tosans for Responsible Government, a perennial “anti” campaigner (anti-tax, immigration, gays, Victoria’s Secret), declared in 2005: “We need more intolerance.”

Ralph Reed, former director of the Christian Coalition, on political campaigns: “I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag.”

J.J. Blonien on staff members of the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which promotes separation of church and state:  “Somebody should kill them all.”

Ann Coulter could have coached Anders Breivik in his mass political assassination of liberals. In 2002, Coulter opined about the “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh: “In contemplating college liberals, you really regret, once again, that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals by making them realize that they could be killed too. Otherwise, they will turn into outright traitors.”

Although liberals like me can be vociferous in our opposition to right-wing leaders and policies, there is no comparison to the overt, lethal threats continually issuing from the right.

Controls traditionally exercised by ethical, scrupulous editors over uncivil discourse have dissolved in our freewheeling Internet age. The Supreme Court has ruled video games depicting the mutilation and murder of women are protected by the First Amendment, making it highly unlikely they will ever restrict political speech.

So the fear mongering, scapegoating and intimidation will go on. Bloodbaths will ensue. Where is the moral leadership to stop this free fall into chaos?

Norway mass killer is self-described fundamentalist Christian

The man responsible for a horrific bombing and shooting spree at a youth camp in Norway is a self-described fundamentalist Christian who hoped to incite a war on Muslims through his actions, according to multiple published reports.

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has confessed to the two attacks, which took at least 93 lives in the nation’s deadliest post-war tragedy.

According to The New York Times, Breivik had called for a Christian war to defend Europe against the threat of Muslim domination. His acquaintances described him as a gun-loving man obsessed with the nation’s multiculturalism.

Despite Breivik’s fears, Muslims represent only 3 percent of Norway’s population, according to a massive study by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that was released in January.

Norway’s foreign minister said Breivik was known for posting comments on fundamentalist Christian websites. He said most of the political violence Norway has seen in recent years has come from the far right.

Although Breivik was baptized into a mainline Protestant church, he expressed disgust with his church in recent years for not being hardline enough – a view that is shared by the growing right-wing evangelical Christian population in the United States. In one posting, he called for a collective conversion of Norway’s population back to Roman Catholicism.

Breivik’s killing spree began yesterday with a car bombing in Oslo that was intended to target Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. He was not injured in the attack, but seven others died and more than 15 were seriously wounded.

Hours after the bombing, Breivik entered a youth camp on Utoya Island, dressed as a police officer. He told camp leaders that he was conducting a routine precautionary check following the Oslo bombing.

Once he gained access to the camp, Breivik opened fire on everyone in sight.

Breivik has confessed to authorities for the killings.