25 June 2011
Dear sisters and brothers,
On behalf of our global union federation Public Services International, I extend heartfelt condolences to all PSI members, your families, co-workers and neighbours in Norway who have been affected by the brutal attacks carried out against innocent people on Friday 22 June in Oslo and Utøya.
That more than 93 lives have been lost, and some hundred more people injured is heartbreaking. The deep shock and sorrow you are feeling is shared by our members around the world.
This tragedy is compounded as it becomes clear that the democratically-elected government of Norway, and the young social democrats gathered in their summer camp at Utøya to discuss ways of building a more inclusive and democratic society, were specifically targeted.
It is further disturbing that it appears that these attacks were driven by the vitriol of a man identified as a right-wing Christian fundamentalist.
Extremism in any form is unacceptable.
I trust these terrible events in Norway will spur renewed focus within all of our countries on the need to address the rise of socially-destructive forms of extremist rhetoric and violence. This is an agonizing reminder that we must strengthen our efforts to nurture tolerance and safeguard equal rights for all people.
Public Services International