21 July, 2015

22. July information centre in Oslo

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Category: Education, far-right, hate crime, National campaigns, Victims of hate crime
Community Manager
12 pm

The Norwegian government has in colaboration with the National Support Group after 22. July and the Labor Party Youth, decided to open an information centre about the 22. July 2011. The centre is located in the government building in Oslo that was damaged during the attacks and opens officially on the 22nd of July 2015.

Learning about 22. July

On the 22nd of July 2011 terrorist Anders Bering Breivik placed a bomb near by the government building which is situated in the centre of Oslo. The building was almost completely destroyed and 8 people were killed. Since the attack the area has to a great extent been closed off while deciding what to do with the remaining buildings. The authorities have gradually initiated rebuilding and a part of this has entailed building an information centre about the 22nd of July.

The purpose of the centre is first and foremost to communicate facts about the terrorist attacks and how Norway both as a state and its’ citizens were affected. Moreover it will serve the purpose of providing information as to why the authorities have decided to build a new government quarter in Oslo. There has been many difficult decisions to be made in the aftermath of the attack, concerning the future of both Utøya and the government quarter. It has been essential that the voices of those directly affected by the attacks have been heard.

On Utøya a memorial has been built to remember and to honor those who where killed on the island that rainy day in July 2011. The memorial is shaped as a ring and symbolizes community and unity. While the memorial in Utoya first and foremost will be a place for remembering, the information centre in Oslo will rather serve the purpose of offering information to the public about what happened on the 22nd of July 2011 and how it affected Norway. The attack is a part of Norwegian history and should not be forgotten.

Research on right wing extremism

At the same time as announcing the opening of the information centre, the Norwegian government stated that they wish to establish a centre for research on right wing extremism. In this regard the prime minister emphasized the importance of knowledge in combating hate, violence and extremism. A centre for research on right wing extremism would definetely correspond with other initiatives to combat violent extremism. The only terrorist attack on Norwegian soil has been carried out by a right wing extremist who was actively engaging in extremist discussions online and through hate speech encouraging hateful thoughts and actions towards those promoting a pluralistic, inclusive society. Research in Norway on reasons, consequences and effective measures to prevent hate speech, on the link between hate speech and extremism, and moreover, on the online dimension of right wing extremism is thereby of utterly importance.

An information centre in the government quarter in Oslo will hopefully contribute to spread knowledge about what happened the 22. July 2011, but moreover be a starting point for encouraging and supporting more extensive research and knowledge of right wing extremism both in Norway and beyond.

A website with information about the center will be available from the 22nd of July at http://www.22julisenteret.no/

Photo: Prime Minister announcing the opening of the center outside the dedicated building. Source: regjeringen.no

Photos from the announcement: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kmdep/sets/72157647791258973/


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