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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Neighbours reject Utøya compromise

Residents of the area just across the water from Utøya, the Norwegian island where a lone gunman killed 69 people five years ago, are moving forward with their legal battle to halt a memorial to the massacre being built in their neighbourhood. They intend to face off against the state in court.

Not only do the local residents object to the memorial that was overwhelmingly approved by the state and jury of experts, they also don’t want the increased traffic it will bring to their community. They’ve already moved makeshift memorials to the tragedy, claiming they don’t want to be reminded of it every single day.

State officials, survivors and families of the victims all support the memorial project, and the conflict has added to the pain of those who lost family members, lived through the attacks on July 22, 2011 and were maimed for life. The neighbours contend the memorial itself will be painful for them, not least since many of them took part in rescue efforts and experienced the trauma first-hand.

The Norwegian government has made various attempts at a settlement, to no avail. The court case will thus move forward, with both sides meeting this week for pre-trial preparations. staff



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