‘Hate takes lives’: Norway marks ninth anniversary of July 22nd attacks with socially distanced memorial

Today marks nine years since terror attacks on the island of Utøya and in Oslo claimed 77 lives.

'Hate takes lives': Norway marks ninth anniversary of July 22nd attacks with socially distanced memorial
Prime Minister Erna Solberg, AUF leader Ina Libak, Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg and Labour Party Jonas Gahr Støre carry flowers at Utøya. Photo: AFP

On July 22nd, 2011, neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik carried out the two attacks, first killing eight people by detonating a bomb at the foot of a government building in Oslo.

He then killed 69 others by opening fire at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utøya, with the teenagers trapped by the waters of the surrounding lake.

The attacks were the worst committed on Norwegian soil since World War II.

Oslo’s Regjeringskvartalet was witness to a heavy silence on Wednesday as the names of each of the 77 victims were read out to mark the anniversary of the tragedy.

The fight against hate was a prominent feature in speeches given at the memorial, newspaper VG noted.

Ina Libak, leader of Arbeidernes Ungdomsfylking (the Workers’ Youth League, AUF), which was the target of the Utøya terror attack, said in her speech that “hate takes lives”.

“But we know that the best antidote to hate is love, hope and community,” said Libak, who was shot four times in the Utøya attack.


Representatives from Norway’s government and political parties attended the memorial and stood with socially distanced gaps. Former prime minister and NATO general secretary Jens Stoltenberg, who was head of government at the time of the attack, was also present.

Stoltenberg said that it was important for Norway to continue to mark the date and honour those who lost their lives, the seriously injured and those who lost loved ones.

“But it is also important as a political underlining of values which were attacked on July 22nd. And it is still important to stand up for an open, democratic society,” Stoltenberg told NRK.

Current PM Erna Solberg said in her speech that Norwegians must “fight every day for the values which were targeted by the terrorist.”

“July 22nd reminds us that life can be endangered when hate is allowed to stand unchallenged.”

READ ALSO: Utøya memorial defaced with swastika on 2019 anniversary of attack

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 

Find out what's going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local's short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 
Oslo Operahus .Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Only one in ten Norwegians plan to travel abroad this summer 

Around ten percent of people in Norway are planning to take a holiday abroad this summer, according to a survey carried out by tourism organisation NHO Reiseliv.

Seven out of ten respondents said they still plan to holiday in Norway this year, even if they receive a vaccination before the holidays start.

READ MORE: ‘My arguments didn’t matter’: How I ended up in a hotel quarantine in Norway 

Viken and Vestland are this year’s most popular travel destinations for Norwegians planning a “staycation”. Young people were the most likely to want to remain in Norway this summer. Just under half of those aged between 18 and 29 said they wished to stay in Norway this summer. 

Third of Utøya survivors have received abuse or threats

A third of Utøya survivors have been victims of hate speech or received threats, according to a new survey. 

Three-quarters of respondents said that the reason they received the abuse was linked directly to the Utøya terror attack, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Studies (NKVTS) found. 

The massacre on Utøya was the second of two terror attacks carried out by Anders Breivik on July 22nd, 2011. Of the 69 people who died in the attack, 32 were under the age of 18. 

Fewer in Oslo willing to ditch cars 

A climate survey carried out by the city of Oslo has shown that fewer people than before are willing to cut back on using their cars. The proportion of those who think that Oslo city centre should be car-free has fallen to 45 percent from 52 percent last year. 

READ ALSO: Could Norway introduce mandatory inbuilt car breathalysers 

When asked whether Oslo City Council had gone too far in removing cars from the city centre, almost half said that they believed that this was the case. 

“A change in the attitude around these measures may be due to more people feeling dependent on cars during the pandemic. There has been a lot of debate about measures that have been introduced or are planned to be introduced,” Heidi Sørensen, Director of the Climate Agency, told the Dagsavisen newspaper

Tighter Coronavirus measures in Trondheim 

Gyms, museums and swimming pools have been closed, and alcohol service in hospitality has been stopped in Trondheim. The new measures come barely a week after restrictions were last tightened. 

“We need to shut down most of Trondheim to get control. It is only days since we last tightened measures, but we are in a situation where we must take even stronger action,” Morten Wolden, the municipal director for Trondheim, told state broadcaster NRK.

Norway reports 292 new Covid-19 cases

On Monday, 292 new coronavirus infections were registered in Norway. This is a drop of 52 compared to the seven-day average of 344. 

In Oslo, 48 cases were recorded, an increase of two on the capital’s seven day average of 46. 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 1.0. This means that every ten people that are infected, will, on average, only infect another ten people, indicating that the infection level is stable. 

Total number of Covid-19 cases so far. Source: NIPH