A Gypsy Fiasco in Oslo

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


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A few years ago the residents of Oslo, like their counterparts in many other Western European cities, began to notice the growing presence among them of people, apparently gypsies, who were not only begging on their streets – in the summer months, anyway – but were often extremely aggressive about it.

Before long it was reported that these people had come from Romania – and, one sometimes read, Bulgaria.  Many of them were, it was further reported, being shipped to Oslo by the busload for no other purpose than to beg.  Well, that’s not precisely true: the more able-bodied and fleet-footed among them were also doing quite a bit of stealing.  Eventually there were also reports about the flats these people were living in. Dozens of them, apparently, were crowding into a few small rooms, where they left the remnants of their meals on the floor and, in addition, used the floor as a toilet.

While some Norwegians expressed concerned about this unpleasant new state of affairs, others mounted the barricades on behalf of this new wave of potential welfare clients.  “’Gypsies treated as garbage,’” thundered an October 2011 headline in Aftenposten, quoting the head of the Anti-Racist Center (a curious claim, given that the new arrivals seemed to specialize in turning every place they inhabited for any length of time into a rubbish tip).

This summer, according to Aftenposten, about two thousand gypsies have made their way to Oslo, a city of about half a million.  “Even though many have rap sheets,” the same newspaper informs us, “the police cannot send them out of the country unless they are arrested for criminal offenses in Norway.”  Many of them, to be sure, have been interviewed by the police in connection with various transgressions – and have been quick to accuse the cops of harassment.

In response to this “harassment,” the gypsy community sought “refuge” earlier this month at Sofienberg Church, which is set in a mid-sized park in a middle-class neighborhood near downtown Oslo.  At this time of year, the park is generally the setting for family barbecues, frisbee-playing, and the like.  As of July 9, however, it was a huge tent camp inhabited by a couple of hundred gypsies.  One of them, Opra Costica, defiantly spelled things out to reporters: “If you give me 100,000 kroner I’ll go.  But not without it.  You should give a million kroner to each of the families who are here in Sofienberg.  A million kroner is nothing in Norway.”  (At the moment, a million Norwegian kroner is equivalent to about $163,000.)

The establishment of this camp in Sofienberg Park gave the usual journalistic hacks the opportunity to spew out the usual inane rhetoric: “The gypsies’ situation can only be understood in a larger political perspective, and against the background of a history full of discrimination, oppression, and marginalization.  They live among us, and we are being put to the test.  Can we treat gypsies, too, as people?”  Those lines were penned by Ingrid Brekke, Aftenposten‘s correspondent in Berlin, who – noting that that city, too, is a summer destination for a great many gypsy beggars – found it appropriate to imply a connection between the Nazis’ murder of gypsies and the reluctance of many Western Europeans to roll out the red carpet for these summertime tourists.

Anyway, the gypsy camp in Sofienberg made huge headlines – and put Norwegian officialdom in a pickle.  After all, it was almost exactly a year since Anders Behring Breivik, motivated by a hostility to mass Muslim immigration, murdered 69 people – an atrocity which led virtually every public figure in the country to piously reaffirm Norway’s love of diversity and its unbounded respect for other cultures.  Now this.  What to do?  There were murmurs here and there that hinted at buck-passing: this isn’t the church’s problem, but the police department’s.  Or: this is a matter for the national government, not local officials, to deal with.  On July 12, the acting bishop of Oslo said he felt the church was being “used.”  “This Is Foreign Policy, Not Local Politics,” read the headline on a July 13 op-ed by the head of Oslo’s city council.

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  • Stephan

    As long as no one has the bravery to tell the truth about the holocaust people will always use the holocaust as an excuse.

    • Advocatus

      Which is what? That it's the Jews' fault these Gypsies are behaving like this?

      • PhillipGaley

        Yes—and, why is this all so perplexing? It's the fault of the Zionist Jews, and the dirty rotten US government. And it you don't believe it, I'll say it again.

    • Lillith

      Here we go!

    • Ghostwriter

      The truth about the Holocaust,pal is that thousands died because people like you,Stephan,thought people like Jews and Gypsies were seen as little more than viruses to be destroyed. Your post is as disgusting as you are.

  • robertpinkerton

    While the Norwegian Establishment contorts its collective self into topological shapes in order to reinforce the assertion that Breivik was wrong, wrong, wrong, absolutely wrong, unconditionally wrong — here come the troupe of Gypsies seeming to enact the purpose of proving him right? "Tis a crazy world we inhabit.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    norway was EVIL. norway was the quisling friend of national SOCIALIST Germany in WW2.

    norway still is EVIL thanks to its SOCIALIST culture and its support of islamofascism..

    Happy Nakba norway!

  • Ola Nordmann

    You have a translation mistake: Opra Costica said: "For alle familiene som er her på Sofienberg bør de gi én million kroner." He meant that one million kroner for all the families that were there at Sofienberg, not one million each. However it was frekk, anyway, of course.

    • Bruce

      Given how much the gentleman wanted for himself, given how many members of his community we're talking about here, and given that he was probably speaking very broken English, I went with the interpretation that he meant one million per family, not for all the families.

  • Drakken

    How long untill the native Nords turn on these free loaders? I see another Brievek coming and the morons on the left will be pizzing all over themselves to explain it away.

  • tagalog

    Yep, treat them like people, as somebody in the article demanded. If they trespass, put them out. If they break the law, charge them and punish them. If they make a mess, prosecute them. Just because they're Gypsies doesn't give them the right to do whatever they please. No other people have that right.

  • stan kohls

    It is well known that gypsies, with no established form of supporting themselves, often resort to theft. Ask any Hungarian.

  • well now

    I have no use for Gypsies, their whole culture is a parasitical culture. We have them in NYC also, you see these twisted up old women begging on 5th Ave? Those are gypsies. Do'nt give them a dime. They used to push their babies in strollers and beg for money. If that fails, they resort to scams and theft. (i.e.Fortune telling and psychics.) Feel sorry for them because they have no marketable skills? Why not? Usually they are also illiterate. Garbage of humanity is what they are.

  • Emile

    If your children would live in such conditions as gypsy children, they would be taken away from you. Couldn't it be possible to place these children in special nurture institutions so that their lives will be more respectfull?

  • EthanP

    My only comment: Imagine the outcry if Jews behaved thus!

  • TAXMAN

    As far as I can tell, the Gypsy culture is opposed to work and does not recognize the property rights of others. Not now and not in the last thousand years. Send them to a fertile Island and let them survive on their own labor.

  • Ghostwriter

    Well,there are a few Gypsies in America. I've never seen one but I think they're around.

  • Amused

    LOLOLOLOLOL……….Norway ! You just got PUNKED !!!!

  • Amused

    Awwww c'mon , the gypsies love life , women and song , they love good food , only problem is they dont work ….ever . Unless you call work -repairing your roof for half price , getting the money and disappearing , lol….and while you're negociating the price you're gonna get ripped for , their "associate [s] will be in your house rifling through your belongings . You've seen 'em , if your car is on the street long enough with a noticeable dent , gypsies will materialize to offer you their " body work " gypsy -style ,all ya gotta do yourself is get it.. painted …….and resanded ……LOL….and most likely done over ….and if you got a blacktop driveway like so many do here in Fla. ..man just look at it ….it needs a new coat of blacktop …..have no fear , just like majic ….gypsies will appear 5 gallon buckets of " black-watered-down somethin' " in hand to do it on the cheap !! [ whatever they can con out of you ]…the old folks are their biggest victims down here ,[ once you pay up front ] keep a good eye on 'em because the moment you turn your back , poof ! they're gone .

  • amused

    And they leave their victims too embarrassed to report the crime , and it wouldn't do any good even if they did , for the Gypsies blow in and out of town like the wind , for they are on the milk run , cross state or region they make the route , just like UPS or FEDEX LOLOL…. when the cars or pickups are full , it's time to retire back to the den , until the funds run out and it's time to make another run ..that's part of their success .And it is extremely rare if EVER that they do violence to their victims , that would attract attention , when confronted , they'll simply run ,and wont hang around . They can however be very violent , amongst them,selves , over things like " who's the Prince " or "who's the King of tyhe Gypsies ,in a particular tribe and local or who gets what of the loot and booty .The women stay at home , provide alibis , take care of the children and do some palm reading and spiritual advising on the side .

  • Amused

    LOL….ya gotta love 'em , always smilin' and all , and the NERVE ….you want us to leave ? PAY US ! LOLOL….atleast their honest about that , and they don't blow anything up . Yup ! They're here , and have been , ya just don't see 'em for it's not in brightly painted horse drawn wagons with lanterns and jangling bell in which they travel , lol….it's Escalades , F-150 Supercabs ,Yukons and Denalis
    Ahhh yes , The Romani , the consumate con men [and women ] and weasles , they've been at this for 3000 years ! Hitler couldn't get rid of them , lol…nor will the Norwegians …unless they pay them . Some say they are distant descendants of mercenary Persian and India Warriors plying their trade for whoever would PAY , making their way across the Globe , disdained of all nations .
    Sorry for the rambling , but Ive studied these people and have been facinated by their longevity but NOW IT'S ALL RUINED !!!!!! THEY HAVE A GYPSY REALITY SHOW !!! AAAARRRRRGGGHHH !

  • Amused

    On the serious side , the Gypsies are by far the LEAST of Norway's worries just gotta keep their hands on their wallets .

  • UCSPanther

    I wonder when all the ethnic tensions within the EU is going to blow.

    Fun. fun, fun. And get ready to take cover.

  • Amused

    Don;t know , but I'm sure there's a line in the sand drawn somewhere in Europa , and when it's crossed , the muslims there will be in for a rude awakening .

  • Bulgarian citizen

    KILL THEM ALL..stupid gyspys

  • Amused

    hahahaha ,,,see what I mean ! There's only one thing , the Gypsies ARE NOT …and that's MUSLIM >..LOLOLOL

  • Osloguy

    What makes me laugh is how socialists react as soon as gypsies settle down at their own doorsteps. Then suddenly all those beautiful socialist thoughts about respecting other cultures dissapeare. It's easy to be a socialist as long as other people get the problems.

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