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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Demonstration drew few supporters

Police mobilized and a helicopter even buzzed in the skies over Oslo on Saturday, but a demonstration by the fledgling right-wing Norwegian Defence League (NDL) only attracted around 15 persons. It was over within a half-hour, and ended in a fight.

The NDL’s demonstration against Muslims in Norway was held on the same day Germany invaded Norway in 1940, April 9, and organizers chose the area outside the historic Akershus Fortress and Castle, where war resistance heroes were imprisoned and executed. The time and location of the NDL’s demonstration had sparked condemnation from one of Norway’s greatest war heroes, Gunnar Sønsteby.

“This is completely hopeless,” Sønsteby, now age 93, told newspaper Aftenposten. “At that time, we were fighting for democracy. It’s completely wrong to say that Muslims pose a threat against Norwegian democracy today. I have more faith in confident cooperation.”

While around 1,000 counter-demonstrators gathered at a nearby plaza to oppose the NDL event, it quickly ended when an NDL supporter began yelling racist comments and got into a fight. Police arrested him and the protest was over.

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