After targeting migrants and asylum seekers with tougher laws, Sipilä’s government now sets its eyes on Roma panhandlers

by

Should we be surprised after the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä tightened immigration policy it is now targeting the Romany minority? If the government has its way, Finland will criminalize panhandling. 

Sipiläs government, which comprises of the National Coalition Party (NCP) and anti-immigration populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, is one of the most anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity governments in a long time.

The first question that such a draft law that would criminalize panhandling raises is why it is needed in the first place? Are Roma panhandlers from countries like Romania and Bulgaria such a problem?

PS MP Raimo Lehto believes so.

“Panhandling should be forbidden because it annoys and bothers Finnish citizens,” he said, “and they tell us that they should be taken off the street because they frighten certain people.”

Näyttökuva 2016-8-24 kello 0.14.18
Read and watch the full interview (in Finnish) here.

The new law, which specifically targets Roma from countries like Romania and Bulgaria, comes after the government passed laws that did away with residence permits under humanitarian grounds, tightened family reunification requirements and shortening appeal times for asylum seekers.

(more…)

If we are against racism, bigotry and homophobia why do we continue to be Facebook friends?

by

Some may rightly ask why it took over a year to charge former PS substitute councilman Olli Sademies for stating that African men should be sterilized, Here’s another question: Why are there so few light-slap-on-the-hand sentences for hate speech in Finland? In 2009-14 there were only 27 people who were sentenced for ethnic agitation, according to MTV, which cites Statistics Finland.

All of this points to one thing that we are near-constantly denying: Racism, bigotry and discrimination have deep roots in Finland and such social ills are perpetrated by white Finnish privilege.

Näyttökuva 2016-8-23 kello 8.40.19
Former Perussuomalaiset party member and retired policeman Olli Sademies is being charged for ethnic agitation. His comments are so full of racism that he’s on the same level as former PS MP hothead James Hirvisaari. He’s an example of not only the racism and ignorance of Finnish society but their deep roots in the police and politics. Would you be Sademies’ Facebook friend?

Institutions like the police service are so deeply immersed in their own denial of racism and bigotry that they actually believe that they don’t ethnically profile anyone.

(more…)

Former PS deputy councilman of Helsinki to be charged for ethnic agitation

by

Former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* deputy councilman for Helsinki, Olli Sademies, who suggested last year on Facebook that Africans should be forcibly castrated will be charged for ethnic agitation, according to Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest-circulating daily. 

Sademies, who is a retired policeman, was sacked from the PS in September.

Näyttökuva 2016-8-22 kello 20.25.26
Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

The former PS local politician denied any wrongdoing and claimed he was innocent.

“Freedom of speech and expression also includes saying things that  may even upset some population groups,” he was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat. “I hope that the district court [of Helsinki] acquaints itself with the decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights on this matter.”

During 2009-2014, only 27 people have been sentenced for ethnic agitation, according to MTV, which cites Statistics Finland.

The greatest number of sentences for ethnic agitation were given in 2012, which was 12.

Ever wonder how people like Sademies were ever accepted in the police service and the PS?

It says a lot about how much denial there is in Finland about racism.

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” 

In the asylum seekers’ eyes

by

Muh’ed

Today I visited a Finnish-language class of asylum seekers silently worrying day by day.

The Finnish-language teacher, a man, asked me to speak to them in the Finnish language, and tell about my life in Finland.

I spoke slow Finnish, I told them who I am. How long I have lived in Finland and so on..? They asked me a lot questions!

THE ARE ONE OF US BUT WE DON’T LISTEN  to THEIR VOICES.

IF YOU CAN HEAR THEM, YOUR EYS WILL OPEN. GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO STAY HERE.

I’m sitting with them now so they can tell me their histories. I’m crying.

Asylum seekers they don’t sleep well. They worry a lot and live in uncertainty. They don’t know if they’ll be able to stay in Finland and if they’ll get a residence permit.

I’d love our members of parliament could live in an asylum refugee center for 24 hours. During that time, they would eat and get a taste of the life at an asylum refugee center.

Shame on you Finland for not opening your eyes.

The Finnish media’s “fascination” of racists is a problem

by

Here’s a simple question: Why on earth does a newspaper like Etelä-Suomen Sanomat of Lahti even bother to publish a story about a handful of racists who demand that Finland shuts its borders to asylum seekers? 

The answer to that question could shed a lot of light on how the media treats groups that are against our Nordic values, Constitution, and hostile to migrants and minorities.

One of the reasons why the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party saw a rapid rise in the 2008 municipal and especially in the 2011 parliamentary elections was, unfortunately, media fascination over the new “party on the block,” which was overtly anti-EU, anti-migration and especially anti-Islam.

When you ask some analysts why a party like the PS attracted so much interest, you’ll usually get a typical white Finnish answer: They were an option to voter skepticism of traditional parties. If so, why does this skepticism target migrants and encourages politicians like Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari, Juho Eerola and many others to be hostile racists on steroids?

Näyttökuva 2016-8-22 kello 10.23.57
Read full story here.

(more…)

How Finnish-as-a-second-language courses relegate people to second-class status

by

Even children who are born in Finland but whose parents aren’t Finns are sent to S2 (Suomi toisena kielenä) language courses. One student, who attended for three years S2 Finnish-language courses, claims that such courses won’t help him succeed at university.

 Moreover, what does it mean to be part of an S2 program in a racialized country like Finland that labels even naturalized Finns as “people with foreign background?”

“The problem is that S2 teaches you basic Finnish for the workplace but doesn’t help you to learn how to write essays when you go to university,” said the former student, who attended S2 courses in the 7-9 grades. “This means that you’ll end up doing menial low-paying jobs all your life because your writing skills aren’t up to par.”

The mother of a child, who was put in an S2 class when he started school because his parents were born abroad, expressed concern about how such classes would affect her son.

(more…)

(Racism Review) More hostility to Spanish: An Arizona mayor

by

Fort Huachuca City is a small community in Arizona (pop. 1900) located approximately 20 miles from the Mexican Border. Mayor Ken Taylor was upset when he received an invitation to a meeting of U.S. and Mexican border city mayors because it was written in both English and Spanish, or “Spanish/Mexican,” as he put it in an email to John Cook, executive director of the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association in El Paso:

Näyttökuva 2016-8-17 kello 21.27.39
Read original post here.

I will NOT attend a function that is sent to me in Spanish/Mexican. One nation means one language and I am insulted by the division caused by language.

(more…)

Finnish interior ministry report: violence against migrants hasn’t grown significantly in 2015

by

The Finnish interior ministry reported in a statement Monday that there hasn’t been a spike in violence last year perpetrated by extremist groups despite some 32,500 asylum seekers that came to the country in 2015. The ministry cites Sweden and Germany as countries where violence against migrants committed by extremist groups have apparently grown. 

The report claims that violence by extremist groups like the neo-Nazi Kansalinen Vastarinta and others hasn’t risen in “a significant way” in the face of a high number of asylum seekers.

“The number of suspected crimes reported to the police due to the crimes committed by extremist groups didn’t, however, rise in 2015,” interior minister head of development, Tarja Mankkinen, was quoted as saying in a statement. “Even so, right-wing extremism and ant-immigration movements have become more prominent [in Finland] and the [anti-immigration] atmosphere has worsened.”

 

Näyttökuva 2016-8-16 kello 6.28.49
Read full statement (in Finnish) here.

There are a couple of things that we should keep in mind concerning the report, which we should study critically.

(more…)