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25 Jul 2011
Terror attacks in Norway

Two terrorist attacks have cost the lives of at least 93 men and women – most of them young people – in Norway. The second attack specifically targeted those attending a Norwegian Labour Party youth summer camp.

You are invited to send messages of sympathy and support to our colleagues in Norway. Messages will appear on this webpage>>

Take action: Send a letter to the ITF’s affiliated unions in Norway and the Norwegian trade union movement>>

Read responses the ITF has received from Norway >>

Take Action: Send a Solidarity Email


Messages of support

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Dear Colleagues,

The ITF and ETF express their shock and solidarity with the Norwegian people after the bombing in central Oslo and the shootings on the Island Utøya. For one person to commit such an atrocity against young people who were attending a youth camp organised by the Norwegian Labour Party makes this murderous act even more incomprehensible. Many of those attending were part of the Norwegian trade union movement. There is no place in a civilized world for such a barbaric act.

We join all our affiliates in Norway, the Norwegian people and all those around the world in conveying our sympathies to the families affected.

The ITF stands ready to offer any support needed to all our affiliates in Norway.

Paddy Crumlin, ITF president and David Cockroft, ITF general secretary

Dear Brother and Sisters,
The RTBU Rail Divisions is writing to you in response to the terrible tragedy that has befallen your country. Our members, delegates and officials are both shocked and angered at the senseless slaughter of innocents that has taken place and in this time of tragedy as the events echo around the world we hope that the voice of trade union solidarity is heard in sharing the grief of the family, friends and workmates of those killed or injured in these horrific events.

Our solidarity also goes to those who at this time seek to strengthen democracy and work towards creating an inclusive society for all rather than those who would seek to close the borders and shun the victims of a humanitarian/economic crisis.

The young victims of the shootings on Utoeya Island shared a dream of hope for the future and support for the cause of labour.
It remains for all of us to work to see these ideals fulfilled and in the face of this tragedy to redouble our efforts to ensure that the voice and participation of youth across the labour movement remains a priority and an everyday reality.

At this time we remember also the many sacrifices and acts of courage by youth across the globe in support of democracy and trade union rights. Trade union solidarity knows no borders and is a powerful force for hope and change.

We seek to offer you all our shared grief, our respect, our solidarity and our fraternal friendship at this terrible time.

Victor Moore, Secretary Rail Operations Division, The Rail Tram and Bus Union      

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

I wanted to write to offer my deepest and most sincere sympathies following the recent bombing and shootings in Norway. I hope that the victims rest in peace and that those left behind are able to mourn fully.

As someone who has visited your country, I was truly shocked. My experience of the Norwegian people has been that of a warm, welcoming and tolerant people - a stark contrast to the hateful act displayed last Friday.

The accounts from survivors and witnesses are very disturbing. It is impossible to comprehend these actions. Such an attack is an attack on all of us; our values and our way of life. Extremism of this kind is worrying. Be assured that the international community is with you.

The response from the Norwegian people has been humbling. The Prime Minister's calls to fight back with more democracy have been repeated by numerous survivors in the media. It is a truly inspiring response to such a hateful act. A clear intent to turn grief into action and hope for the future.

I wish you all the best for the future.

Best wishes

Councillor Ben Curran, Sheffield City Council / Labour Party /GMB Union

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

I was completely shocked by these brutal terror attacks and deadly assault on innocent victims in Norway.

I would like to express my condolences to the Norwegian families of the victims from this ruthless madness.

Marc Van-Noten, ITF Inspector, Belgium

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

Today there is no word like terrorism in the world, because what initially started only for terrorizing people is now no more confined to that limit, instead barbarism has replaced terrorism and mankind is universally left to the mercy of lunatic barbarians. The world today is reeling under these barbarian acts, every country on some given date has been hit and painfully affected, leaving the people moaning. My country is no exception, be it an attack on crowded business centers or serial train blasts in Mumbai. Though many countries at that time, expressed grief and condolences ultimately it was for the people to come together and put up an act of substance, it was again for the same people to join hands to effectively implement disaster management and restoration of normal activities of life. The Indian Railwaymen stood out putting up a commendable effort and in a record time restored the train services which were other wise destructed beyond imagination, setting a precedence for others to follow.

It was shocking to know that a heinous act of barbarism accounted for 93 innocent lives most of whom were youth attending the Norwegian Labour Party's youth Summer camp at Utoeya Island. Once again it has been underlined that it is only the face of the terrorist that keeps changing, but the intensity of the devastation remains the same. These outfits never take into consideration the age, gender, caste, creed or community. They only derive pleasure in destroying the humanity and mankind.

On behalf of the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen and its affiliated units I not only convey my Solidarity and full Support but also express my deep anguish over this cowardly act. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and I pray to the almighty to keep up the integrity and morale of the people intact and wish them to join hands in effectively implementing disaster management in restoration of normal activities.

M. Raghavaiah, General Secretary, National Federation of Indian Railwaymen

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

mitt hjerte gråter, er det ingen ord for å gjøre dette noe bedre. Det er en trist dag i historien for Norge.

Alisha Bull, Maritime Union of Australia (MUA)

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

We are writing to express our deep condolences to the Norwegian people after the bombing in central Oslo and the shootings on the Island Utøya.

We send our support to all our brother unions in Norway and the Norwegian people.

What has happened shouldn't take place in the modern world.

Yours fraternally,

Marine Transport Workers Trade Union of Ukraine

Dear Colleagues in Norway

We were all in shock that such a tragedy happened in Oslo and island of Utøya and we are still struggling to accept that it was not a nightmare but a reality.

We offer our sympathy to all people who lost their loved ones, and to the nation as a whole. Many of us have expressed outrage and emotional opinions what should be done with the murderer, but truth is we don't know what is the one right thing to do on the moment like this.

We know, in the long run we must talk with our children and learn the culture of dialogue, that hopefully limits acts of violence. However long time it takes to get over the overwhelming feeling of powerlessness, I keep up hope that our pain turns into strength and courage to stand against violence everywhere. Together.

In solidarity,

Evelin Tomson, Estonian Seamen's Independent Union

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

Nautilus International, representing maritime professionals in the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland, sends its deepest sympathies to you.

It is hard to find the words that express our horror at the attacks in your country, and the assault upon its strong and deep democratic traditions.

Our thoughts are with you.

Nautilus International

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

The people of Sierra Leone and in particular the executive and members of the Sierra Leone Seamen's Union extend their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved and people of Norway for this barbaric act of terrorism perpetrated by someone who can best be described as savage. May the souls of the victims rest in perpetual peace: in the name of Jesus Christ! AMEN!

Parker Kamara, Secretary General, Sierra Leone Seamen's Union

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

We write to you to express our condolence for the terrorist attacks on Friday. We condemn those attacks which were targeting the people of Norway and especially trade union and youth movement. We also want to express our solidarity.

Kenan Öztürk, President, TÜMTIS, Turkey

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

We were all shocked by the terror attacks in Norway. There is no word to express our deep sorrow with regard to 93 innocent lives most of whom were youth attending the Norwegian Labour Party's youth Summer camp at Utoeya Island.

We convey our condolences to all Norwegian people that suffered from these brutal actions. We wish that neither Norway nor any part of the world will experience such brutality in the future.

In solidarity,

Yavuz Demirkol, President and Nazim Karakurt, General Secretary, United Trade Union Transport Employees (BTS)

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

On behalf of the 4,000 British Columbia Ferry and Marine Workers Union and proudly affiliated with the ITF, I send our deepest sympathies to all the people of Norway. I sailed in Norway's Merchant Marine in the late 60's and early 70's.  I will always remember the good thoughts of working with the crew who were Norwegian.  They were honest and hardworking people.  Not only were these attacks on labour but the very people of Norway.  Our thoughts go out to everyone of this good and great nation.

In solidarity,

Richard Goode, President, BCFMWU

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

When I heard this tragic news last Friday, I was so shocked. It showed on the tv screen shooting at a Youth camp in Norway. Shooting of young people and camp participants.
I would like to express my deepest condolences to the victims and their family members who lost their sister/brother, son/daughter by the bombing in central Oslo and the shooting on Utoeya Island.

On behalf of Korean Seafarers unions, again my condolences.   

HK Kim, FKSU, Korea

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

We were completely shocked by these brutal terror attacks and deadly assault on innocent victims in Norway.

We would like to express our condolences to the Norwegian families of the victims from this ruthless madness.

Yours sincerely,

Channa Weerasinha, General Secretary, Flight Attendants Union of Sri Lankan Airlines Ltd

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

It is with heavy heart that I acknowledge the pain and suffering that the good people of Norway are currently undergoing. Time will eventually help heal the wounds but in the meantime please accept my sympathy and condolences, (I went through the horror of the Port Arthur Massacre in Australia, so know what you are going through).

Garry Smith, Maritime Union of Australia

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

I just wanted to express how shocked and saddened I am by the atrocities of last friday. My thoughts are with you and the loved ones of those killed.

We stand with you in standing up to those promoting fascism and extremism. We stand with you in promoting a world of peace, workers rights, human rights and racial equality.

In strong solidarity,

Alen Clifford, Union Member, UNITE

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to express our condolences to the Norwegian trade union movement and to all people in Norway in connection with tragedy took place in Oslo and an island Utoeya. We stand together with you in this tough time.

Igors Pavlovs, Latvian Seafarers' Union of Merchant Fleet

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

We would like to express our deep shock and indignation with the news about the bombing in central Oslo and the shootings on the Island Utøya last week.  What happened has only a place in the history, not in the present, not in the future of Europe!

These atrocities are not a simple act of terrorism; they are also a blatant attack on the future of the trade union movement in Norway: the youth; and an attempt to destroy the idea of coexistence between cultures, in a manner of mutual respect.

To all this, we, the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria, have one answer:  violence has never solved a single problem, nor has helped anyone achieve support for their views. It is only through constructive dialogue and working together as a society that we can solve our problems, no matter whether their source lies within or without our scope.

We extend our deepest sympathy to our colleagues in Norway, to their friends and families, to everyone who has lost a relative, a friend, a colleague, to the trade union movement in Norway and the entire Norwegian people. 

Be strong, brothers and sisters, we have ideals to pursue, and neither this, nor any other act should discourage us from our fight!

Ekaterina Yordanova, President, Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB)

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

It is a matter or serious concern and we can't believe that such a cruel person can come up with this terrorist attack.  It is madness by all angles.  We strongly condemn and lodge our protest and offer any support required there.  We share all sorrow and grief people of Norway face with this cruel action.  May God help you to bear this loss.

Nazeer Tahir, Vice President, Peoples Unity of Pia Employees, Pakistan

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

Australia must seem very remote from the tragedy facing Norwegians after the attacks in Oslo and on Utoya Island. Like the rest of the world we watched in growing shock and horror as the scale of the attack became known.  Despite the distance between our two countries we share your grief and hope that you are able to recover as best you can. Australians know from our own experience 15 years ago that the path to recovery is difficult but it helps to know that support is widespread and heartfelt.

Please accept our condolences and sincere hopes that you, as a nation, are able to recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Robert Mason, President, Civil Air Operations Officers Association of Australia (ATC)

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

It is with deep sadness that I extend my heartfelt sympathies to everyone involved in the Norwegian Labour movement and all citizens of Norway in the wake of these tragic events.

That the attacks were focused so specifically on young progressive activists is particularly heartbreaking.

To every person who has been affected personally by these senseless, painful events I send my love. To the comrades who continue to fight for social justice, peace and diversity I stand with you in solidarity always.

In Unity,

Samantha Bond, Assistant Director, Education, ACTU Organising Centre, Australia



Las y los trabajadores de la Alianza de Tranviarios de México, a nombre de las organizaciones sindicales mexicanas afiliadas a la Federación Internacional de los Trabajadores del Transporte, con gran estupor e indignación nos hemos enterado del acto homicida ocurrido en su país, el fin de semana pasado.

Es inconcebible que olvidando los valores y educación recibidos por un gobierno como el que ustedes tienen, además de la enseñanza que al seno familiar se pueda tener, sucedan actos tan deplorables como el que ustedes han sufrido.

Por tal motivo, las y los trabajadores democráticos de México, nos solidarizamos con el pueblo noruego, expresando nuestro sentido pésame por la irremediable pérdida de valiosas y jóvenes vidas humanas y elevamos una oración por que los familiares de  quienes fueron indignamente sacrificados, encuentren la paz espiritual y fortaleza necesaria para afrontar tan dolorosa pérdida.

Atentos a buscar nuevas formas de interacción con toda la hermandad del mundo laboral, sobre todo con la juventud, para tratar que en ningún lugar del mundo se repitan estos dolorosos hechos, hacemos llegar a ustedes un muy fraternal y solidario saludo.


Benito Bahena Lome, Secretario General, Alianza de Tranviarios de México

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

The sad news of the cruel terror attack in Norway darkened the sky of the rest of my summer holidays. It was and it still is difficult to understand how on earth this kind of ruthless attack was possible even if it was done by a very disturbed person who was influenced by same minded people all over the world. At the same time it was encouraging to find out how united the whole Norwegian society decided to continue on the road of openness, solidarity and tolerance.

I am convinced that my colleagues within the AKT and all the members of our union join me sending our deepest condolences and sympathies to those who lost their love ones in terror attacks.

Jussi Koivunen, Secretary of the Union, Finnish Transport workers Union AKT

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

The General Council of the FTPAW-SEK expresses its sympathy and condolences to the families of our young and innocent young children who have lost their lives from a person/animal when they were enjoying their holidays.

All the workers of Cyprus as well as the ordinary people feel regret from this unbelievable massacre and we send our solidarity to all the workers and all the people of Norway.

Pantelis Stavrou, General Secretary, FTPAW-SEK, Cyprus

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

Please accept my heart felt condolences for your losses. I pray you will overcome your grief and remain a country that stands up to right wing ideology. My thoughts are with you.

Brian Reynolds, Union Rep, RMT, Edinburgh, Scotland

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

On behalf of the Dutch Trade union FNV Bondgenoten, we would like to express our sincere sympathy to the Norwegian colleagues.  We were deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the brutal death of so many innocent people after the terror attacks in Norway.

We also like to express our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims of this brutal act. Via the media we were overwhelmed by the strong and peaceful reaction in full solidarity by the Norwegian people.

Wishing you the best in future,

Henk van der Kolk, President, FNV Bondgenoten, Netherlands

Dear Colleagues in Norway,

It's always terribly sad to hear young people pass away, particularly people who are going to shoulder the next labour movement being killed. I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathy to the families of the victims.

Yours in solidarity,

Mash Taguchi, ITF Inspector Osaka/Kobe Japan

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Norway,

On behalf of JRU, I express my sincere sympathy and solidarity to the Norwegian colleagues after the bombing in central Oslo and the slaughter on the island Utoya. All our members and officers were shocked and furious to hear of these atrocities. Most of the victims were young people attending the Labor's youth camp. We have lost our sons and daughters. It is heartbreaking for us to think of their fear in front of the gunman.

At this terrible time, we all share your grief, and stand together, and wish you will remain a country to stand up to right-wing ideology. We will stand with you in your fight to promote peace, workers' rights and human rights.

In global unity and solidarity,

Masaharu Takei, President of Japan Confereration of Railway Workers' Unions (JRU)

Copyright © 2012 ITF
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Copyright © 2012 ITF
ITF House, 49-60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DR  |  +44 20 7403 2733   |  mail@itf.org.uk