While hundreds of well-wishers sent flowers to former justice minister Sylvi Listhaug, who eagerly publicized their support, more than 80,000 Norwegians sent donations to Leger Uten Grenser (Doctors Without Borders) instead. Organizers called off the counter-demonstration after Listhaug resigned Tuesday morning, and after raising nearly NOK 17 million for the medical charity.
“There are so many warm hearts in this country, and this has shown that it’s worth standing up to forces we don’t like,” Camilla Ahamath, who spontaneously launched the grassroots effort last week, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Tuesday. “I’m incredibly proud.”
She’d reacted to how Listhaug, who had insulted not only the opposition Labour Party but survivors of the terrorist attack against the party, had posed with the “hundreds” of flower bouquets sent to her last week following her failed attempts to issue a genuine apology in Parliament. Ahamath hatched the idea, and posted it on Facebook, of sending money in a counter-demonstration to a neutral organization that needs it. After hundreds had responded to calls to support Listhaug, tens of thousands responded to the call to help the medical charity and indirectly scold Listhaug in the process.
Karine Nordstrand, president of Leger Uten Grenser, expressed deep gratitude as well. “Every single contribution means that we can now send out more emergency medical aid,” she said. Bjørnar Moxnes of the Reds Party, who had launched a vote of no-confidence against Listhaug, also thanked supporters who rallied in favour of the fundraiser.