In a musical act of defiance, Norwegians crowded public squares Thursday to sing a gentle tune that confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik has argued was a Marxist song used to brainwash children to embrace multiculturalism. Massive crowds gathered despite a steady rain, bearing roses.
In Oslo alone, an estimated 40,000 people flooded the Youngstorget square to sing. In the video above, Norwegian singer Lillebjørn Nilsen leads the crowd in singing "Barn av regnbuen," a Norwegian version of "My Rainbow Race," penned by American folk sing Pete Seeger.
The Associated Press translated its lyrics as follows:
A sky full of stars, blue sea as far as you can see
An earth where flowers grow, can you wish for more?
Together shall we live, every sister, brother, you and me
Young children of the rainbow, a fertile land and seashore.
The Oslo square isn't far from the courtroom where Breivik is on trial for killing 77 people in a rampage that devastated Norway and drew new attention to Islamophobia and extremism in Europe. Breivik claims he was defending Norway against "cultural suicide" through the slayings.
"We have a quiet majority that sometimes gets a bit too quiet," Shoaib Sultan of the Norwegian Centre against Racism told the Associated Press. Sultan said it was important to "demonstrate tolerance."
-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles
Video: Tens of thousands of Norwegians sing "Barn av regnbuen" in downtown Oslo. Credit: HAAJHA / YouTube