It is likely that Norway will never be the same after the bombing and murders in Oslo and on Utoya Island, where many people, mostly teenagers and in their 20s were attending the Labour party’s annual youth summer school. Writing in Sunday’s Observer (24 July 2011), Norwegian journalist Knut Olav Amas said that: ‘Nothing characterises Norway as much as a deeply imbued sense of safety and security. On Friday afternoon this feeling of safety was changed by a powerful car bomb exploding in the heart of the Norwegian government buildings, killing at least seven and the massacre of close to 100 hundred young Labour party people supporters, many of them teenagers. The events of this weekend have given many Norwegians a sense of alienation towards their country. We have lost that feeling of safe and secure normality that Norwegians are so predisposed to take for granted…’
A Norwegian journalists friend of mine emailed to say that her ‘office felt the blast of the bomb. We had all windows open at the time, so none of them broke. But glass broke all around us. And people got hit by glass in the street outside. But worse was yet to come. My family is trying to cope with the loss of a close family friend (21), leader of the Labour youth in Oslo. We live close to the bottomless grief of his parents and siblings. And on the whole the immensity and evil of it all is very difficult to grasp. But we do not want to give up our open Norwegian way of life to surveillance and security. It’s plain awful.’
But days later I received news of a more general attack on journalists in the manifesto sent out by Breivk a few hours before the atrocities took place.
25 July 2011 By: Joel Gunter journalism.co.uk
A 1,500 page manifesto sent out hours before the attacks describe annual gatherings of journalists as ‘most attractive targets’. Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted being behind the bombing and shooting spree in Norway on Friday, targeted journalists in a manifesto sent out by email hours before the attacks took place. The 1,500 page manifesto, entitled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence”, is credited to an Andrew Berwick, an Anglicised version of Breivik’s name.
In a section headed “Category A, B and C traitors’ concentrations”, Breivik writes that annual gatherings of journalists are “considered THE MOST attractive targets for large scale shock attacks due to the amount and quality of category B traitors”.
He goes on to cite a specific Norwegian journalism conference run by SKUP, a foundation set up to help promote investigative journalism. Breivik writes that “the most notable journalists/editors from all the nations media/news companies attend” the conference, and says its “light or non-existent security” make it a “perfect target”.
Breivik includes an overview of the conference and details of a potential attack. He states that the goal of an attack would be “collapse of building causing maximum casualties coupled with secondary assault method”. The manifesto, which is frequently critical of journalists, also attacks literary conferences and festivals, claiming that they are populated by writers, journalists and editors that support multiculturalism. In a long section entitled “Dealing with journalists”, he writes that they should be approached with “extreme prejudice” and considered as “multiculturalist political warriors and overwhelmingly left wing political activists”.
Elsewhere he claims that 99 per cent of them support multiculturalism and are “therefore supporters of the ongoing Islamic colonisation of Europe”. He also names journalists as part of a “Western European cultural Marxist/multiculturalist intellectual elite”.
In a section titled “Media Ownership”, Breivik criticises media companies, singling out Rupert Murdoch over his ownership of UK newspapers and “successive UK governments” which have “allowed his empire to grow in return for his media’s support”. The manifesto also includes a breakdown of the distribution and finances of Norwegian newspapers.
Breivik is appearing before a court in Norway today (25 July), and reportedly requested to attend in uniform and read a statement about the reasons for the Oslo attack. It was decided yesterday that the hearing would be held behind closed doors.
On Friday, the day of the attack, Journalism.co.uk reported how the offices of VG, Norway’s largest newspaper, had been damaged in the bomb blast in Oslo. The building is located opposite the government headquarters, which