On Finland's Independence Day both Neo-Nazi and counter-demonstrators marched through Helsinki 

Several protest marches took place in Helsinki on Finland's Independence Day last week. While police removed swastika flags from a Neo-Nazi demonstration of around 200-300 people, a counter-demonstration of 1,800 people also took place. 

Tabatha Leggett
Tabatha Leggett NewsMavens, Finland
On Finland's Independence Day both Neo-Nazi and counter-demonstrators marched through Helsinki  - NewsMavens
Neo-nazi marchers assemble in Helsinki, YouTube

Why this story matters:

The number of people taking part in far-right marches on Finland's Independence Day, as well as the number of people taking part in counter-protests, has steadily grown over the last few years.

Although the court has ruled that the Finnish arm of the Nordic Resistance Movement (PVL) should be disbanded, they were able to march through Helsinki because the order is not yet in force.

Police have announced that they are going to open an investigation into the Neo-Nazis who were carrying swastika flags. Although carrying swastika flags is not illegal in Finland, four people were arrested due to the provocative nature of the flag. 

Details from the story:

  • A Neo-Nazi demonstration of around 200-300 people took place in Helsinki on Finland's Independence Day last week. Police confiscated three swastika flags and arrested four people.
  • Although carrying a swastika flag is not a criminal offence in Finland, police considered carrying them last Thursday dangerous due their provocative nature. 
  • The Finnish arm of the Nordic Resistance Movement (PVL) was one of the Neo-Nazi groups which took part in the "612" torch procession, a march which is named after the date Finland gained independence. 
  • The neo-Nazi demonstration was met by a 1,800 person counter-demonstration whose message was that Nazis are not welcome in Helsinki.
  • Many residents of Kallio, one of the areas that demonstrators marched through, displayed anti-racist messages in their windows and on the streets to demonstrate their opposition to the Neo-Nazi march.
  • The demonstrations were met by a strong police presence. Extra force management support was bought into the capital from around Finland. 
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