On Utoya book on Norway and terror nears global release

The following press release was sent to all media today:

On Utøya: Anders Breivik, right terror, racism and Europe

Edited by Elizabeth Humphrys, Guy Rundle and Tad Tietze

with essays by Anindya Bhattacharyya, Antony Loewenstein, Lizzie O’Shea, Richard Seymour, Jeff Sparrow, and the editors.

LAUNCH: On Utøya will be launched by Senator Lee Rhiannon and Antony Loewenstein on 6.30pm, Wednesday October 26, at the Norfolk Hotel, Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, Sydney.

In a challenging new book, a range of Australian and UK writers respond to the terrorist attack by Anders Breivik in July 2011, and attempts by the Right to depoliticise it.

On July 22, Anders Breivik, a right-wing writer and activist, killed more than sixty young members of the Norwegian Labour Party on Utøya Island, having already set off a bomb in central Oslo to distract authorities. Captured alive, Breivik was more than willing to explain his actions as a ‘necessary atrocity’ designed to ‘wake up’ Europe to its betrayal by the left, and its impending destruction through immigration.

Breivik’s beliefs — expressed at length in a manifesto ‘2083’ — were part of a huge volume of right-wing alarmism and xenophobia that had arisen in the last decade. Yet Breivik, we were told by the Right, was simply a madman — so mad, in fact, that he had actually believed what the Right said: that Europe was in imminent danger of destruction, and extreme action was required.

On Utøya is a response to this attempt to deny responsibility, and any connection of Breivik’s act to a rising cult of violence, racism, and apocalyptic language. The editors and authors shine a light on Breivik’s actions, and argue that they cannot be understood abstracted from the social and political conditions in which it emerged. The rise in far Right, racist and Islamophobic commentary, websites and organisations provide an essential context in which Breivik’s ideas developed and his actions were planned. It concludes with an examination of the manufacture of hate and fear in Australia, and considers what is needed in a Left strategy to deal with the growing threat of far Right organising.

Organised, written and produced within three months of the killings, On Utøya is a challenge to anyone who would seek to portray this event as anything other than it is — a violent mass assassination, directed against the left, to terrorise people into silence and submission to a far-right agenda. Published as an eBook, it takes advantage of the new world of online publishing to respond rapidly, forthrightly and comprehensively to current events. It is both an acute analysis of contemporary politics, and an act of solidarity with all those targeted by the violent political fantasies of the Right.

Interviews: Editors Elizabeth Humphrys and Tad Tietze, and contributors Antony Loewenstein, Lizzie O’Shea, Richard Seymour and Jeff Sparrow, are available for interview.

Publication date: 26 October 2011. Price $6.99. Publisher: Elguta

Inquiries: Elizabeth Humphrys Tel: +61 402 424 973, lizhumphrys@me.com

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