The tragic, unbelievable terrorism events that happened in Norway last Friday afternoon, July 22-- the Government center in Oslo was hit by a powerful car bomb, and roughly two hours later, young political activists from the Labor Party (age range 16 - early 30s) camping together on an island about twenty miles away from the city were shot and killed by Anders Breivik, the chief perpetrator of both incidents whose posted manifesto and blogs were largely statements of anger, hatred and revenge--killed more than 70 people. The campers came from all over the country to Utoeye, so almost every Norwegian citizen knows somebody who was directly involved. Search efforts to recover missing persons are ongoing; a full list of names is not expected to be released until late this week.
The country held memorial services over the weekend and torch/flower parades on Monday evening. The nation feels completely united according to all reports--grieving in dignity, but without feelings of revenge. Verdens Gang, "VG" news, urges everyone to join the cause, whether in physical or virtual reality, creating a long chain of connected people who favor non-violence, and stated that "...Breivik wanted to make war, but the world answers by holding hands with one another--for peace." Ironically, the terrorist's father is a retired Norwegian diplomat who served in the UK and France.
Until now, more than one million individuals from various countries have become a part of the chain. I urge everyone to join this international virtual peace movement--see instructions below.
Norway is well-known for its worldwide peace endeavors: The country awards the annual Nobel Peace Prize; the Peace Research Organization (PRIO) founded in 1959 is a major academic institution (and publisher of the Journal of Peace Research); and former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland has been a leading voice and strong advocate of sustainable development across the globe. She had spoken to the island campers earlier Friday and later learned she had been Breivik's main target.
To join the Peace chain (a two minute process): Go to http://www.vg.no/ Centered on the top of the VG screen it says: "TERRORANGREPET" Click on that statement and a new screen appears, scroll down until aqua colored stick people appear with the statement: "Klikk her for..." underscored -- click on that line and another screen appears, then “Klikk her for …” in red print underscored -- click on that line and another screen appears (this time in Norsk and English) that directs you to enter your name, age, residence and your Aqua-colored stickperson image. Follow the directions, clicking on "Bli med i lenken/join the chain" and afterwards, go to the upper right corner where it states: "Lukk vindu" Click on that and you are officially in the non-violence and sympathy line. You will notice the number of participants from each country who are part of the peace chain. Today, VG news is running a live counter.
Karen A. Feste, Ph.D.
Professor, Korbel School of International Studies
Director, International Security Program
Graduate Director, Conflict Resolution Institute