• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3
'Patriot' group Soldiers of Odin debut in Norway
The Soldiers of Odin were established in Finland but claim to have supporters throughout Europe. Photo: Soldiers of Odin Finland ry/Facebook

'Patriot' group Soldiers of Odin debut in Norway

The Local · 15 Feb 2016, 10:07

Published: 15 Feb 2016 10:07 GMT+01:00

On Saturday night, a group of 14 men wearing black coats bearing the insignia of the Soldiers of Odin spent three hours walking the streets of Tønsberg in southern Norway. This marked the first appearance in Norway of the self-proclaimed ‘patriot’ group that has been at the centre of controversy in Finland.
 
Named after the Norse god, the Soldiers of Odin have been active in Finland since late 2015, patrolling public streets of Kemi, some 30km from the border town of Tornio, which serves as a major crossing point for asylum seekers. 
 
The group calls itself "a patriotic organisation that fights for a white Finland" and says its patrols are meant to scare away “Islamist intruders” that the group says “cause insecurity and increase crime”. 
 
The first Norwegian incarnation of the group said it was out in Tønsberg because “we just want it to be safe in the city” in the face of “out of control” immigration, spokesman Ronny Alte told VG. 
 
“We don’t care about religion or skin colour,” he said. 
 
According to VG, the Soldiers of Odin met heavy resistance from the town’s inhabitants. One woman asked the group why they thought Tønsberg needed their “protection”.
 
“Don’t you think that immigration in Norway has gotten out of control?” Alte responded. “Don’t you see that illegal immigrants are committing crimes, selling drugs and harass Norwegian women?”
 
Olav Sannes Vika, a Socialist Left Party politician who turned out to confront the group, said that the Soldiers of Odin was not welcome in the city. 
 
“In Tønsberg, we don’t have a big problem with violent rapes and drug crimes in the city centres on the weekends. We don’t want patrols here. We don’t want you here in our city,” he said, according to VG
 
Local newspaper Tønsbergs Blad reported that among the 14 Soldiers of Odin were well-known members of the extreme far-right including some who have criminal records. 
 
Police were out in extra numbers to ensure no violent conflicts as the Soldiers of Odin made their Norwegian debut. 
 
“It is solely the responsibility of the police to enforce law and order, but if they walk through the city and behave properly, they should naturally be left in peace,” Frank Gran said. 
 
In a Facebook post on Monday morning, Soldiers of Odin’s Norwegian spokesman Ronny Alte said that the group has been misunderstood. 
 
Story continues below…
“I can see that a who lot of people haven’t figured out what Soldiers of Odin wants, but really ‘safe streets for everybody’ should sum it up,” he wrote. 
 
Alte said that the group would respect the wishes of those who do not want its help. 
 
A Daily Mail video on the Finnish Soldiers of Odin can be seen below:
 

For more news from Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Today's headlines
Norway’s asylum figures ‘down 95 percent’
A child plays at the Bjørnebekk asylum centre in Ås. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

New figures reveal lowest asylum numbers in 19 years.

Google teams up with Norway’s largest wind park
File photo: Kjell Herskedal/NTB Scanpix

Google has agreed to purchase the entire output of the Tellenes wind power park in Rogaland, where construction is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Norway’s royals apologize after old lady knocked over
The incident happened while King Harald and Queen Sonja were hiking in Bodø. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

The Royal Court has apologized for what witnesses say was "unnecessary and aggressive behaviour" that sent an elderly woman to the hospital.

Norway no longer world's best country: report
No longer number one, but still pretty darned good. Photo: Erik Johansen / NTB scanpix

Norway fell from first to seventh place in a new life quality report.

Brexit
Norway won't commit to UK joining EFTA
PM Erna Solberg was in Brussels on Tuesday to meet with other Conservative leaders. Photo: Johan Falnes / NTB scanpix

Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Tuesday she has not concluded whether a British membership in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) would be good for Norway.

Mass brawl breaks out at Norway asylum centre
The Forus asylum centre in Stavanger. Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB scanpix

A rejected asylum seeker was arrested early on Tuesday after a fight involving up to 20 people.

Brit held for throwing pie at Norway's equality minister
The woman accepted the court's judgement but denied having planned the pie attack. Photo: Erik Fosheim Brandsborg / NTB scanpix

A British woman will be held on remand for for weeks for attacking Norwegian Equality Minister Solveig Horne with a cream pie.

Brexit
Iceland president: Brexit is good news for Norway
Iceland president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, shown here in 2008. Photo: Kyrre Lien/NTB Scanpix

Iceland's long-time president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson says that Brexit can give Norway and other northern countries a more important role.

Oslo court rejects Edward Snowden lawsuit
Edward Snowden speaking via satellite as he received the Bjornson prize in September. Photo: Svein Ove Ekornesvåg / NTB scanpix

The Oslo District Court on Monday rejected American whistleblower Edward Snowden’s lawsuit to prevent his potential extradition.

Video
VIDEO: Norwegians set world record for largest bonfire
The bonfire was measured at 47.4 metres. Photo: Runar Andersen / NTB scanpix

See stunning video of the world's tallest bonfire going up in flames as Norway celebrated midsummer.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
2,034
jobs available