How to Upset a Terrorist: Sing a Song of Peace With 40,000 Loud Enough For Him to Hear


More than 40,000 people gathered today in downtown Oslo, the capital of Norway, singing against terrorism, reports BBC. They met in front of the courtroom where the Norwegian “trial of the century” is underway. They met under soaking rain to fight terrorism with the song “Children of the Rainbow.”

The event was organized on Facebook a day after Anders Breivik declared that Norwegian society is corrupted with Marxism and this particular song is to be blamed. He claimed the song has been used to brainwash the country’s youth into supporting immigration. Shocked by Breivik’s lack of remorse, Norwegians have decided that the best way to confront him is by demonstrating their commitment to everything he hates. Norwegians have shown us that the best way to support democracy, tolerance and multiculturalism is to do it peacefully and with dignity, singing a song rather than raging against the gunman.

After they sang the song, they made a carpet of red and white roses in front of the courthouse. This fantastic manifestation of Norwegian people demonstrates how progressive that society is. It shows us that one need not fight violence with violence.

They sang a Norwegian version of American folk music singer Pete Seeger's "My Rainbow Race." This is not the first time that this artist’s music has been used for civil rights movement protests. His lyrics were central in countless social justice causes from civil rights to the environment. He sang out against the Vietnam War and more recently joined the Occupy Wall Street protest in Manhattan. These protests indicate how there are creative, peaceful and graceful ways to showindignation towards someone or something. Therefore, this further defends a stance against the death penalty in Breivik’s, or any other, case. As one of the comments on my previous article says, “If we are to fight terrorism, we must do it by denying terror the ability to destroy society.”

The lyrics read:

“A sky full of stars, blue sea as far as you can see

An earth where flowers grow, can you wish for more?

Together shall we live, every sister, brother

Young children of the rainbow, in a fertile land"

The song was echoed in Oslo and many other Norwegian cities. In fighting Breivik, the Norwegian people chose as their weapon a children's tune. They have hit their intended target in the heart.

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Marko Ceperkovic

As Policy Advisor at the U.S. House of Representatives Marko is dealing with Foreign Affairs, Defense, Immigration and Human Rights issues. At the same time he is a fellow at Johns Hopkins SAIS, participating in the Aitchison Public Service Fellowship in Government. Before coming to Washington, Marko lived in France, studying at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. As former Executive Director's Assistant at Helsinki Committee for Human Rights he led Human Rights Schools for Western Balkans, while at the same time presiding over the Commission for Youth Rights in Serbia.

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