Police in Oslo and other Norwegian cities literally cordoned off major streets that were being used for the country’s 17th of May parades on Wednesday, to prevent any terrorists from driving trucks into crowds of people. They used both barricades and buses to block key intersections.
Side-streets to Oslo’s Karl Johans Gate, for example, were barricaded with buses parked straight across them. The grounds of the Royal Palace were also blocked at key entry points from the streets surrounding the palace park that city’s lengthy parade of school children runs through.
Recent terrorist attacks in Nice, Berlin and Stockholm prompted Oslo police to keep unwanted vehicular traffic from getting anywere hear the parade route. The barricades disrupted traffic and irritated some celebrants, who also reacted negatively to the site of armed police and highly visible police patrols around the city. Others shrugged their shoulders and ignored the heightened security measures.
“We placed various objects so that we’d have more control,” Rune Hekkelstrand, operations leader of the Oslo Police District, told state broadcaster NRK. The terror threat rose in April and concerns had been expressed that Norway’s 17th of May celebrations could be a terror target.