The US Embassy in Oslo was advising American citizens to avoid the area around the embassy building this weekend, because of “planned demonstrations” both on Friday and Saturday. It was feared those planned for September 11 could turn violent.
The demonstration late Friday afternoon was to be held by “a group opposed to US involvement in Chile affairs in 1973,” embassy officials wrote in what they call a “warden message” sent out Friday afternoon to American citizens registered with the embassy.
While Friday’s demonstration wasn’t expected to turn violent, the embassy warned that demonstrations on Saturday September 11, the ninth anniversary of terrorist attacks in the US, might “escalate into civil disturbance.”
The main demonstration on Saturday was planned by Stopp islamiseringen av Norge (SIAN), a group opposed to islamic influence in Norway. SIAN placed ads in Norwegian newspapers earlier in the week, in which the group urged readers not to forget 11 September 2001 and said it was “inviting everyone” to a “memorial” outside the US Embassy.
“The memorial will be held to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks,” stated the ad. “At the same time we want to express sympathy with the survivors and with the US as a nation.” Both SIAN and its European equivalent SIOE were planning “arrangements” to protest “Islamic terrorism” in several cities around the world, according to the ad.
Embassy officials warned that “groups opposed to and larger in size than SIAN have indicated they will also demonstrate,” and police “intend to separate the groups.” The citizens’ advisory stated that “there have been instances of violence committed by demonstrators against SIAN.”
The embassy advised all official personnel “to remain vigilant and to avoid demonstrations.” It also reminded Americans “that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational … and escalate into civil disturbance.
“American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.”
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) could report on Saturday’s national TV news that the demonstrations proceeded peacefully and there was no violence.
View and News staff