January 09, 2009

Norway leads

40 000 people gathered in Oslo for Gaza Thursday, 8th January 2009

There were demonstrations in at least 24 cities in Norway. But Norway leads in way more than large demos.

Norway Solidarity activists report:

Thursday ALL trains in the whole of Norway, and all trams and subways in Oslo, will stand still for two minutes as a result of a political strike organized by the Norwegian Locomotive Union and the Oslo Tram Workers Union in protest of the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

A large selection of Norwegian trade unions and organizations has endorsed a new campaign for the withdrawal of all State investments in Israel. The call is endorsed by so far 6 of the largest national trade unions.

The Union of Trade and Office Workers calls on all members to ask their employers to remove Israeli produtcts from stores. The union is the by far largest union of workers in all types of private and public stores in Norway.

The confederation of Norwegian Trade Unions (LO), with apr. 1/5 of the whole Norwegian population as members, condemns the Israeli bombing and invasion in Gaza and calls for demonstrations.

The Norwegian Church has protested Israels invasion of Gaza and was, according to media, “called to the carpet” by the Israeli embassador.

Yesterday the tone changed somewhat in Oslo:

OSLO (Reuters) - Oslo police detained at least 27 people on Thursday after pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrators clashed in one of the worst such outbursts in the Norwegian capital since the 1980s.

Shop windows in the city centre were shattered and police repeatedly used teargas to break up groups of activists demonstrating over Israel's crackdown in the Gaza Strip.

The violence started when about 1,000 pro-Palestinian supporters showed up at a rally sponsored by Norway's largest opposition party in support of Israel. Television pictures showed they burnt Israeli flags and threw projectiles at police clad in body armour who separated the two groups. ( Reuters )

Moving away from non-violence should always be carefully thought. I have no great insight into Norwegian politics and can't say whether escalating the march into assaulting the few hundred pro-murder demonstrators was a strategically sound decision or an unwise venting of anger that will backfire. But I have no ethical objections. These fu&#wits deserve no more courtesy than neo-nazis, actually less, because neo-nazis are mostly a bad joke and this isn't. Anyway, let's hope for good.


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