Viking snapper protests white power abuse

A Norwegian photographer who specialises in Vikings has started a Facebook campaign to protest white supremacist groups' use of his photos without permission.

Viking snapper protests white power abuse
A child dressed up in Viking clothing. Photo: Hans Splinter/Flickr
Espen Winther, who is  well-known for his pictures of men, women, and children dressed in Viking clothing, launched the campaign, “wide pride”, which he says is “dedicated to the fight for equality.”
He felt moved to protest after he discovered that several of his photographs had been posted on “We support our white children”, a racist Facebook forum.  
“There are some people who are overly nationalistic and concerned with racial issues who like to identify with Viking history and what they think people during that time stood for,” Winther told the local Tønsbergs Blad newspaper. “During the years I have followed them, I have not met a single person in the scene with opinions like that.” 
This is not the first time Winther has had his pictures stolen by nationalist groups.
“I feel outraged when someone posts a photograph that I have taken in Borre (a Viking reconstruction event), of my friends in Viking clothes on websites such as this.” he told the paper. “Not because they are my photographs, but because my friends have been abused. Many of the photographs are of children.” 
The Facebook page “We support our white children” has recently published a number of photos of people in traditional Norwegian national dress, adding slogans such as 'proud to be a white heterosexual man” on a photos of a couple in Viking garb.
“The two people are gentle, kind, and open minded. I was so angry!” Winther’s told Sweden’s Metro newspaper.
His new campaign is aimed at fighting back against the misuse of photographs.
“Spreading messages like that using other people’s pictures of kids is completely disgusting,” he told Tønsbergs Blad. 


Memorial of Norwegian teen killed in 2001 racist attack vandalised

A memorial to a teenage boy murdered in a racist attack was on Tuesday vandalised with the message 'Brevik was right', two days before the tenth anniversary of the July 22nd terror attacks in Norway.

Memorial of Norwegian teen killed in 2001 racist attack vandalised
Police tape. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen/Flickr

Police in Oslo have launched an investigation after the memorial to Benjamin Hermansen, who was murdered by three members of the neo-Nazi group The Boot Boys in a racially motivated attack in 2001, was found to have been vandalised. 

The statue of Hermansen, who was 15 when he was killed, was vandalised with the message “Brevik was right”, a reference to the July 22nd terror attacks carried out by far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik in 2011. 

The vandalism was discovered by Johannes Dvorak Lagos in Holmlia, Oslo, while on a walk near his home at midday Tuesday. 

Lagos posted a picture of the vandalism to Twitter, describing it as “reprehensible”. 

The graffiti was discovered two days before the tenth anniversary of the July 22nd terror attacks, in which 77 people were killed. 

Brevik carried out two separate attacks on July 22nd, a bomb in Oslo aimed at killing then Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and a mass shooting at the AUF youth camp on Utøya island. 

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Labour Leader Jonas Gahr Støre have both condemned the incident. 

“It is absolutely awful to see that the Benjamin Hermansen memorial at Homlia has been vandalised just before July 22nd. It makes me sad and furious, and this shows how important it is that we stand up to racism and hate speech every single day,” Solberg said in a tweet

“Benjamin’s memorial has been vandalised with references to the July 22nd terrorist. On the same day as the Eid celebrations begin. It’s reprehensible, and it shows that dangerous attitudes still circulate among us. The police have to take this seriously, and together we have to speak out and oppose this type of behaviour,” Labour Leader Støre wrote on Twitter

The incident is being investigated as a hate crime in addition to vandalism, police said. 

“The Oslo Police district is taking the case very seriously, and an investigation has been established. The investigation will also include the penal provisions for hate crime,” law enforcement said in a statement. 

Raymond Johansen, Oslo’s executive mayor, said that right-wing extremism needs to be addressed. 

“The person or persons who have done this have the same mindset as the neo-Nazis who killed Benjamin and the attitudes behind July 22nd. This shows that there is a need to discuss these attitudes,” Johansen told newspaper VG

The graffiti was removed by 1:30 pm on Tuesday.