National Sections of the L5I:

Solidarity with the Norwegian labour movement!

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Statement from Arbetarmakt the Sweidsh section of the League for the Fifth International

Extreme right-wing violence has struck once again. Now it is in Norway. The central offices of government were attacked with a car bomb in the middle of Oslo, with seven dead as a result. Shortly after many people were killed at the island Utøya, not far away from Oslo, where the youth league of the Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet), Arbeidernes Ungdomsfylking, were holding their summer camp with around 700 participants. Dressed in a police force uniform, the man attempted to kill as many as possible with an automatic weapon. Among the participants were, apart from hundreds of Norwegian youth, also the Swedish left commentator Ali Esbati, former chairman of the Young Left, who managed to escape the mindless killer. So far, 85 from the youth camp are confirmed dead, 30 were wounded and are being treated at hospitals, for 20 of them their condition is critical.

The so-called experts on terrorism, who were called into the broadcasting studios to comment on the events, assumed initially that those responsible for the deed were Islamic fundamentalists. They were, however, during the evening forced to change direction with their “expert advice”. The day after the terrible events, the bomb in the centre of Oslo seems to have been intended as diversion. Theories that the summer camp of the AUF was the main target are now being circulated in Norwegian media.
One person, the Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, is now under arrest and charged under the anti-terror laws. Behring Breivik has apparently been planning the massacre for some time. At the beginning of May, he bought several tons of fertilizer, which are often used in making bombs, under the disguise of a company dealing with growing of vegetables. Norwegian police characterized him as a right-wing extremist, a Christian fundamentalist and Muslim-hater. He has been active at different forums on the Internet, among them a Swedish one with a Nazi profile. He calls himself a cultural conservative and nationalist and calls for struggle against multi-cultural society.

Its totally clear that this was not primarily an attack on the Norwegian state or the functions of the government as such, but a violent attack on the party that dominates the Norwegian labour movement, the Arbeiderpartiet. Prime minister Jens Stoltenberg belongs to the party, as the majority of the red-green coalition government.

Neither Stoltenberg, the chairman of the AUF or representatives of Swedish social democracy (Juholt, Guteland), characterise the terrorist act as an attack on the labour movement. They all talk, loud and clear, of an attack on the open society. The apparent racism represented by the arrested man is hardly mentioned. He doesn’t seem to have been organised in any specific extreme right-wing organisation, but the Norwegian broadcasting company (NRK) reports today that he is a former member of the racist Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet), one of the biggest parties in parliament (Stortinget).

There is no doubt that the terror attacks are aimed at the Norwegian labour movement. Those who do not recognise this fact are disarming the labour movement in front of future violent outbursts from extreme right-wing circles. We cannot continue to believe that we live in the best of worlds. Extreme right-wing violence is a reality and the organisations of the labour movement should be prepared to defend themselves.

We send comradely greetings of solidarity to the Norwegian labour movement. Our thoughts are above all with those closest and dearest to those who were killed. The violence that hit your children and sisters and brothers were terrible. Our thoughts are also with those struggling for their lives at the hospitals and all others who have been hit in one way or another.