Record number to attend Utøya summer camp

The Local Norway
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Record number to attend Utøya summer camp
Utøya survivors, Labour youth members, and relatives of victims on Utøya on June 6 ahead of the camp. Photo: Utøya project group

A record number of young people have signed up to attend the first Labour party youth camp to be held of the island of Utøya since sixty-nine people were killed in a devastating terrorist attack in 2011.


“It’s great to see that so many people want to be a part of taking Utøya back," Andreas Brandt, the leader of the Norwegian Labour party's youth league (AUF) in Buskerud told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
"It seems that this will be a dignified summer camp that will show in a big way that the AUF is back. ” 
Brandt said he expected more than a thousand young people to take part in the event, which has a huge symbolic meaning for the organisation. On the day the massacre, 564 people were on the island.
“It’s a historic event and the first step in taking the island back," said Jørgen Watne Frydnes, who is managing the work on the island. "It is important to show that we are continuing the activities that were attacked. That's been our goal from day one, it’s about showing that terror cannot stop us.”
Most of the buildings on the island have been demolished and new ones built to take their place. A memorial site has also been constructed.
“It’s a place to come, alone or with others. The memorial is made up of tree trunks in a circle, and a ring of steel with the names and ages of those who died on 22 July." Mani Hussaini, the AUF's new chairman told Norwegian broadcaster TV2 last week. 
The return to the island has been fraught with controversy, with some arguing that it is too soon to return to the island. 
“Four years is too little time for many," 21-year-old Viljar Hanssen, who survived being shot in the head by Anders Breivik, told broadcaster NRK las week. "The rhetoric about taking Utøya back has become too literal. I didn’t think I would react so strongly, but I have.” 



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