• 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
Tourist presumed dead after Norwegian waterfall drop
Photo: Ned Alley/NTB Scanpix

An American tourist is feared dead after falling from a height of at least 20 metres into a waterfall late Sunday afternoon.

Number of Norwegians joining Isis in decline
Ubaydullah Hussain and his lawyer, Hilde Wiig Nicolaysen. Hussain was charged with recruiting foreign fighters to the terror group. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

A number of recently published reports from Scandinavian intelligence services suggest that Isis recruitment peaked across Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia in 2013/2014.

Man kicked off Norwegian flight over 'Isis tattoo'
A Norwegian plane at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A Norwegian flight from Sweden was delayed after it was claimed that one of the passengers had an Isis flag tattooed on his arm.

Norway terror: Five years later
Norway PM: ‘Time does not heal all wounds’
PM Erna Solberg, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit lay wreaths in Oslo on Friday as Norway marks five years since the terror attack that killed 77 people. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt

Norwegian PM Erna Solberg addressed the nation on Friday as Norway marked the fifth anniversary of a right-wing fanatic’s hateful terrorist attack.

Norway terror: Five years later
Norway's open values intact five years after Breivik attack
The inscription reads: "If one man can display so much hate, think of how much love we can all display together". Photo: Dennis Lehmann/Scanpix

"If July 22nd, 2011 was a test for democracy, I think one can say we have passed it."

Man who fired on Norway police used starter's gun
File photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

The Bergen man who precipitated Monday’s rare police shooting fired on officers with a starter police.

Norwegian skier stripped of wins over asthma mistake
Martin Sundby competing in the Oslo Skishow last month. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Norwegian cross country skier Martin Sundby has been deprived of his wins in the 2015 Tour de Ski and banned for two months for using a banned asthma drug.

Norway is the best at doing what the EU says
Norwegian PM Erna Solberg and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Norway tops the Internal Market Scoreboard for the third year running.

Video
Norway couple takes wedding photos to epic new heights
Photo: Stan Serdjukov/ © www.fotograftromso.no

Best wedding photos ever?

Norway’s oil fund making a killing off Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go players hunt virtual monsters in Bergen. Photo: Erik Johansen / NTB scanpix

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the largest of its kind in the world, is earning good money off the Pokémon Go craze.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
National
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Education
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
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'
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
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
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
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
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
'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
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
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
2,075
jobs available