Translated by contributor to Tjen Folket Media.
We publish below a report from Kampkomiteen (the Struggle Committee) from the demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. The report was published on the 6th of June.
In the past week, there have been demonstrations in many places in Norway for George Floyd, who was murdered by police on May 25, as well as in support for all of those who now rebel and fight against oppression in the US. Also in protest against racism and police violence. In many areas, the police and the municipalities have used Covid-19 and virus control measures as a pretext for stopping the protests, but people have nonetheless shown up. The Struggle Committee has participated in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Kristiansand. Here are the reports from local chapters:
Wednesday, June 3, a demonstration for George Floyd in the square in Trondheim. Like other recent demonstrations in the city, it was also sabotaged by local government forces with virus control measures as a pretext, despite the fact that there have been few cases of Covid-19 in the area.
This time, both Red Youth and an individual who took the initiative for the demonstration were threatened with fines. Despite this, the demonstration was still held. Several hundred rejected the attempt at sabotage and held a lively event that lasted for two hours.
Several people showed up with hand-made posters bearing the slogan “Black Lives Matter”, a slogan that was shouted many times throughout the demonstration. Motmakt and the Struggle Committee has announced their desire to hold speeches beforehand, but several people stood up to speak throughout the event. Not only about police violence, but also about their personal experience with state and everyday racism. Most of those who spoke were youth. Most of the speakers ended their speech by encouraging a chant of a slogan. On several occasions, demonstrators took a knee, just as many have done at events recently. The next planned demonstration is on June 15.
The volunteer organization Way Forward took the lead as the organizers for the demonstration “Black Lives Matter, Justice for the black community” on June 5. Many people showed up from different environments and there was a lot of youth present.
The atmosphere was both charged and serious. Slogans like “No Racists in Our Streets”, “No Justice, No Peace, Prosecute the Police” (one could also hear “Fuck” switched out for “Prosecute”), and “Black Lives Matter” were steadily shouted among the between 1000 and 2000 demonstrators who showed up.
There has been a deal of focus on virus control measures, and people in general could be seen standing in small groups with a distance between them.
Several demonstrators were wearing masks and others were handing out masks to people who wished to participate.
The only thing that was lacking was sound equipment. It was very difficult to hear some of the speakers on the stand, and eventually, the equipment failed.
After the official event ended, activists from the Struggle Committee held speeches against police violence over a megaphone.
Thousands of demonstrators took over the streets of central Oslo on Friday. At Eidsvoll plass, the last words of George Floyd were read aloud on loudspeakers for thousands of people who knelt in silence in his memory. Over 1000 people gathered in front of the US embassy office in Oslo, and slogans resounded in the streets. “No Justice, No Peace, Fuck the Police”, “No Racists in Our Streets”, “Say His Name, George Floyd”, and “Black Lives Matter” were among them. The Struggle Committee was there with flags and the banner bearing the words “Fight and Resist”. Flyers were handed out and all were distributed within a matter of minutes.
The demonstration proceeded for 5km with a fighting spirit from the embassy to Eidsvoll plass. At Eidsvoll plass, the demonstrators were met with cheers by demonstrators who had gathered in front of Parliament. Speeches and slogans were held for several hours. The Struggle Committee also held a speech among the crowd.
After the speeches, people joined in with the slogans “USA – terrorist” and “No Justice, No Peace”. There was a drum circle, speeches were held, and slogans were chanted – for an entire evening in front of Parliament. Many thousands of people rejected the police’s attempts to limit peoples’ freedom of speech. Together, we have taken a stand to show resistance against police violence, not only in the US, but all over the world. We remember also Eugene Obiora, who in 2006 was killed by a police officer with a chokehold while we was prone in Trondheim. The demonstrations ended with fireworks twice next to Parliament. Needless to say, a great day in the people’s struggle against oppression. Fight and Resist!
In Kristiansand, three different demonstrations were planned this weekend. The organizers spoke amongst themselves and agreed to instead create a large demonstration together, and everyone joined the demonstration organized by the Somalian youth organization From Youth to Youth. Many hundreds joined and the entire square was filled with people who stood up against police violence and racism, in the US, the rest of the world, and in Norway. The 50 approved demonstrators were doubled many times over, and as the municipal health director said in their speech, “It is fantastic to see how many we are when we are ‘just 50’.” He encouraged everyone to follow health control measures, but pointed out that there were no laws that could prohibit us from demonstrating.
Many speeches were held, both from organizations and individuals. The Struggle Committee held a speech where they gave full support to the rebellions in the US, and to the struggle against oppression; that we must fight for change and that all losses that are suffered in connection to this are small in comparison to the losses that the oppressive system inflicts upon us.
Other speakers spoke about George Floyd, as well as other Blacks who have been killed by the police in the US for small reasons or without reason at all, and they mentioned the fact that the demonstrations that started peacefully have been met with brutality. They also spoke about different forms of racism in Norway, about how immigrants are harassed by the police, and the police and the municipal trend reports on criminality in Kristiansand were given as examples of institutional racism. Here, they choose to explain criminality with ethnicity, while they ignore factors like poverty and social inequality. The protection that the Nazis in Nordfront received from Kristiansand police in 2017 was also mentioned. The police justified this by citing freedom of speech and claimed that they “made an exhaustive appraisal of the situation”, but meanwhile, they chose to cancel a concert and arrest rapper Kamelen in 2018 with the justification that he had yelled, “Fuck the Police” from the stage. That this was considered to be more threatening than Nazis occupying the city centre says a lot about where the police stand. We have earlier written about how the Agder police district protects fascists while they use violence against groups they do not like: http://kampkomiteen.org/index.php/2019/11/19/politiet-beskytter-fascistene/
Even though the police’s oppression is much more explicit in the US, we see the same structures here, in our peaceful Southern Norwegian city. And despite the fact that the demonstration was peaceful and that many were happy that the police “allowed us” to demonstrate, there were a lot of people who expressed their disdain for the police. Criticism of the police was met with applause and “Fuck the Police” was often heard shouted by demonstrators.
There will also be more demonstrations in the future. We have an oversight on our Facebook page that will be updated continuously. Send us a message if you know of more demonstrations. We encourage all to meet up, and even if the police or the municipalities attempt to cancel them, to show up anyway!
No Justice, No Peace, Fuck the Police!
Tjen Folket Media trenger din støtte. Vi får selvsagt ingen pressestøtte eller noen hjelp fra rike kapitalister slik som rasistiske “alternative medier”. All vår støtte kommer fra våre lesere og fra den revolusjonære bevegelsen. Vi er dypt takknemlige for dette. Vi overlever ikke uten, og du kan gjøre ditt bidrag ved å støtte oss med det du kan avse.