Last week, dozens of people, including youth, were killed in Norway. The deaths were the result of a brutal attack by one individual, Anders Behring-Breivik. Immediately, we at Stop the Wall acted in solidarity with the victims, their family, and the nation of Norway by sending the following letter. Each day since the attack we have learned more details about the motivations of this person. It is now known that he was motivated by extreme hate, racism, and Islamaphobia, while his victims were political activists who believed in justice. In fact, the youth were members of the Workers’ Youth League (AUF), an organization that supports a free Palestine.
Dear Our Norwegian friends,
It was a big shock for us all when we received news of the cruel attack in Oslo. We thought immediately of all our Norwegian friends whom we have met; those that have received us warmly in their homes and those who have stood and continue to stand in solidarity with our people’s rights, with Stop the Wall, its staff and volunteers especially during the hardships of some of the arrests and attacks on Stop the Wall members. Over the last years, Norway has become a place very close to many of us: the widespread support for the Palestinian struggle for justice and liberation has brought us closely together and the recent reinforcement of AUF’s support for the Palestinian call for BDS has given us hope in our struggle against the Israeli apartheid regime we are confronting.
We feel a mixture of both anger and sadness; the anger about the fact that in the 21st century medieval ideologies of racist supremacy, purity of states and religious intolerance are still spreading all around the globe and sadness for all the victims that lost their lives, their family members, friends, and lovers. We know that this crime is an attack against all of us struggling for a just world.
Stop the Wall, its youth, popular committees, and partner organizations express their deeply felt condolences to the families, friends and comrades of those killed in this criminal attack. If our suffering has taught us a lesson that we can share with you in these difficult moments, then it is that the only way to give sense to the senseless deaths is not to surrender to pain and bitterness but to continue to struggle for exactly the values that these youth were celebrating at Utoya island: a world of equality, freedom, participation, tolerance and multiculturalism.
We stand in solidarity with the Norwegian people as they confront the perpetrator of these crimes and the ideological humus from which he has drawn his ideas. It is our dire hope that given this international attention, Norway’s society can lead the world in taking a collective stand against the racism, Islamophobia and anti-immigration rhetoric that is responsible for these kinds of extreme acts.
In front of these crimes we feel an even deeper urgency to work together across the globe for a world where racism succumbs to equality and physical and ideological walls, ghettos and fortresses are torn down. We commit to strengthen our ties with our partners and friends in Norway to stand together in our common struggle based on common humanity and respect the rights of every human being.
On Behalf of Jamal Juma, The Campaign coordinator
& Stop The Wall Campaign Staff