Photograph by Heiko Junge/AFP/Getty Images.
UPDATE: Tens of thousands of Norwegians gathered on Thursday in an Oslo square near the courthouse where the Anders Behring Breivik trial is taking place, waving roses and Norwegian flags and singing a song that the mass killer had described as Marxist "brainwashing."
Agence France-Presse reports the crowd of an estimated 40,000 people could be heard singing "Children of the Rainbow" by Norwegian folk singer Lillebjoern Nilsen. The popular children’s song, an adaptation from American folk singer Pete Seeger’s "My Rainbow Race," includes the following chorus: "Together, we will live, each sister and each brother, small children of the rainbow and a green earth.”
During his testimony last week, Breivik called the song symbolic of the "brainwashing of Norwegian pupils” and said Nilsen was "a very good example of a Marxist." (Nilsen, meanwhile, says the song is actually about protecting the environment.)
Breivik’s comments prompted two Norwegians to organize the Thursday event at the square, which is also adjacent to the Labour Party headquarters that Breivik bombed last year, killing 8, before going on to a nearby island where he killed 69 people at a Labour Party youth camp.
More from the Christian Science Monitor on the organizers:
"Let us stand together," the two initiators wrote on the event’s Facebook page, which listed more than a dozen parallel events around the country. “We stand together as a people, fellow human beings. Let us sing because we really MEAN that this song describes how the world SHOULD be.”
Wednesday, April 25: Anders Behring Breivik took the stand again on Wednesday, telling the Norwegian court that a psychiatric report declaring him insane was based on "evil fabrications" meant to discredit him.
"To a political activist, the worst thing that can happen is you end up in a mental hospital," the admitted killer said, according to the Associated Press. "That would delegitimize everything you stand for."
The report in question declared Breivik insane and suggested he be sent to a mental hospital instead of prison. A second report, however, found him to be sane at the time he executed the twin terror attacks that killed 77 people.
Breivik faced questions about both reports and their findings during Wednesday's proceedings. His performance on the stand was less than convincing, according to the Telegraph, which reports that he got "himself tied up in knots trying to use historical examples to back up his facts." As Breivik was challenged on his historical knowledge, onlookers in what has been largely a somber courtroom reportedly laughed.
Breivik has confessed to the July 22 bombing of a government building in Oslo and shooting rampage thorough a youth camp. He claims that he acted in self defense on behalf of his culture, in order to protect it from what he believes to be an already-in-progress Muslim takeover, facilitated by the country's left-leaning political parties. Breivik claims to be a representative of a Templar-like militant group, but investigators have found no evidence that suggests the group actually exists.
Tuesday, April 24: Witnesses to Anders Behring Breivik's Oslo bombing this past summer detailed the blast and its aftermath in court on Tuesday, with one likening the area around the government building that was hit by the blast to a "war zone."
"There was a huge roar," testified Inge Kristoffersen, a security guard in the government quarter in Oslo, the AFP reports. "We were so close that we did not hear a blast, but a roar, and we noticed the shockwave in the ceiling over us."
Kristoffersen also provided some insight into how Breivik was able to park a van so close to the government center of the country. As the AFP explains, "illegal" parking in front of the government building was common, and a "long-overdue" construction project was in progress to prevent it. "We chased cars away from there every day," Kristoffersen said.
Police operations leader Thor Langli testified that initial reports following the blast suggested two suspects, and other bombs about to go off, the Associated Press reports. In the chaos, Breivik apparently managed to slip away from the scene in a getaway car. He then drove to Utoya, where he shot 69 dead at a youth camp.
Monday, April 23: Week 2 of the Anders Behring Breivik trial got under way Monday as the man who killed 77 in Norway last summer continued to defend his sanity to the court. Breivik has confessed to the massacre, but is pleading not guilty to terror and murder charges by reason of self-defense on behalf of his culture.
Breivik apologized on Monday for the "innocent" victims of the Oslo bombing, one of Breivik's two terror attacks in Norway. "They are not defined as legitimate targets," Breivik said, according to the AFP, because they were just passing by the attack site and were not politically connected.
He declined to offer a similar apology for the shooting massacre at a Labour Party youth camp that killed 69, many of whom were teenagers. Breivik has previously told the court that the youth camp victims were "not innocent" because they "worked to actively uphold multicultural values."
Also on Monday, Breivik told the court that he tried to pick victims who looked "leftist," claiming that he could tell the difference, as Reuters reports. At the youth camp, Breivik apparently spared at least one young man who looked conservative: "This person ... appeared right-wing, that was his appearance. That's the reason I didn't fire any shots at him," Breivik explained to the court.
Breivik said that he also spared a 10-year-old boy whom he thought was too young to be in a "political indoctrination camp." Breivik's youngest victim was 14, Reuters notes.
The court will decide whether Breivik is sane or insane. If he's found sane, he faces a renewable 21-year prison sentence. If he's found insane, as prosecutors argue, he'll be placed in a psychiatric ward indefinitely. Breivik's insistence that he was and is sane seems to be for the purpose of defending the political motives behind his attacks—an insane verdict, he believes, would undermine his message. Breivik claims that the July 22 shooting massacre and bomb attack were an act of defense on behalf of his culture in order to protect it from what he believes to be an already-in-progress Muslim takeover, facilitated by the country's left-leaning political parties.
For more on the Oslo trial, see last week's Slatest updates on the proceedings.