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Norwegians rally around victims as Breivik appears in court

Anders Behring Breivik appeared in court today, charged with terrorism for his attacks in Oslo and at an island youth camp. In the evening, Norwegians held mass rallies in memory of the 76 people who were killed.

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“Oslo used to be a peaceful city. Thanks to the Norwegian cultural Marxist/multiculturalist regime, they have transformed my beloved city into a broken city, a bunkered society, a multiculturalist … hole where no one is safe anymore, to use blunt language,” the document read.

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Norway’s leaders have sought to assure the public the deadly attacks would not greatly alter the government’s policies and security measures. An affluent, safe country, Norway prides itself on its accessible politicians and openness to outside.

“The Norway that you meet tomorrow will be recognizable,” Jonas Gahr Store, the country’s foreign minister, said this weekend. “The nature of the Norwegian democracy will not change. Norway will continue to stand for engagement in the world where we commit our resources and our convictions.”

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg declared at a memorial ceremony on Sunday that the nation “will never give up our values.”

But observers say some changes will come, though their scope remains to be seen.

“There is no doubt that this will change security measures,” said Iver Neumann, a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, “but the question is how much.”

Mr. Neumann said even though Oslo is the European city with the second largest number of closed-circuit cameras, the city has minimal signs of physical security. No barriers block the roads to ministries, most police officers do not carry weapons on their persons and some of Oslo’s only guards stand at the king’s castle and are largely for show.

“It’s a rather different situation than what you have in the U.S.,” Neumann said, adding that brushing shoulders with the prime minister on the street was not an unusual occurrence. “When people pass him, no one bats an eyelid.”

He said most Norwegians would want to preserve the country’s sense of openness and not introduce strict set of laws. Many in the capital agreed, saying that Norway, unaccustomed to such violence, was trying to avoid giving in to its fury for Breivik.

“I think people are focusing more on staying together and not the violence and revenge,” Oslo resident Thomas Bertelsen said after observing a moment of silence outside the downtown campus of Oslo University. “I hope there will still be an open society.”

He says dealing with the tragedy is not easy since many have some connection to the dead or wounded.

“Everybody knows somebody. It’s a small country,” he adds.


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