Eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence outside the Storting

We can't breathe.George FloydOslo.Demonstration "We can't breathe - justice for George Floyd outside Parliament(Stortinget)Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB scanpix

Thousands of people gathered outside the Storting to mark George Floyd’s death on Friday afternoon. The message was “We can’t breathe”. 

The official part of the demonstration started just after 5 pm with the demonstrators shouting George Floyd’s name.

Then eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence were held. It was as long as Floyd was held down by police. Still, there were some in the crowd that kept shouting slogans.

Slam poet Guro Sibeko spoke after the silence was over. She demanded justice for Eugene Ejike Obiora, who died of asphyxiation when police arrested him after a police incident in Trondheim in 2006.

“Remember that this has happened here at home as well. Seek justice for Obiora. We are not allowed to forget,” she said. 

According to NRK, the police lifted the 1-meter limit for close contact between people. People were also standing in close proximity to Eidsvoll’s place in front of the Storting, but everything went smoothly.
Don’t worry about the embassy
Several of the protesters carried posters with the inscription “Black lives matter”. Others have the text “Don’t sit back and be silent”, “We want justice” and “We can’t breathe”.

About 1,000 protesters had first met outside the US embassy at Huseby west in Oslo but moved to the Storting after 4 pm.

Demonstration at the embassy also went quietly, but according to TV2, a smoke grenade was thrown inside the crowd.

“ It was reported that there was a smoke grenade that went off inside the crowd outside the embassy. We do not know where it came from, but no one was injured,” said operations manager Andre Kråkenes in the Oslo police district to the channel.

Support from the Storting
Deputy Representative Tina Shagufta Munir Kornmo (V) from Oslo, who co-founded the LIM (Equality, Integration, Diversity) organization, had stood in a window at the Storting with a poster with the inscription “We matter”.

“As an immigrant and parliamentary politician, I want to show solidarity with George Floyd’s family and the protesters and in this way stand up to racism and discrimination,” Kornmo told NTB.

She chose to stand in the Storting because she, as an immigrant woman and a parliamentary representative, has the opportunity to do so. 

“In the United States, people who have been there for several generations are prevented from voting,” she said. 

Demonstrations around Norway
On Friday there were also demonstrations elsewhere in the country. Hundreds of people have met in both Kristiansand and Bergen.

Multicultural selection in Skien had invited 50 organizations to the mark in Ibsenhuset, reports NRK.

“This was powerful. All the political parties, big and small companies, all faith and life communities knelt and stretched an arm up against racism and for a fight against the systematic discrimination we have seen against blacks over the years. I am moved to have been a part of this,“ said initiator Odin Adelsten Aunan Bohmann to the channel.

“Ashamed”Popular singer Aurora Aksnes also made an appearance in Bergen to show support. 
“I’m ashamed that we haven’t taken this fight before. George Floyd’s loss of air has taken the air from all over the world,” she told NRK.

“Very good atmosphere and attendance. Absolutely fantastic commitment. We are shocked that so many people showed up,” said organizer Sara Iden in Way Forward.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


1 Comment on "Eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence outside the Storting"

  1. The protest demonstrations appear to have been well-organized and civil, with homemade – genuine – signs which very effectively helped their spokespersons get across their message.

    As far as I know, there was no violence in Norway to undermine the anti-racist message.


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