Christian Thibault, chairman of Rasmus, an anti-racism NGO, asks how safe are our streets for migrants and minorities after Sunday’s parliamentary elections? Thibault is concerned but doesn’t want anyone to live in fear.
“Don’t withdraw into safe ghettos,” he continued, “but be careful especially this coming weekend [when people of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* will be celebrating the party’s election victory].”
Just like after an ice-hockey world championship, or after an election victory, fans and followers can get pretty violent when celebrating.
We’ve already seen some violence after Sunday’s elections reported in Facebook. Two of these are are by JT and “Abdulah” (see below). JT wrote about a group of white Finns that attacked this week a migrant on a commuter train.
“The ice is thawing but can we say the same about intolerance and xenophobia in Finland?” Thibault said. “I don’t think so. The elections have emboldened some Finns to act in a hostile manner against migrants and minorities.”
An important question emerges in light of the election result and the aggressive behavior of some Finns: Are our streets safe for migrants and minorities?
How can they be safe if an elected official, PS MP Olli Immonen, incites people to grab power and start “a nationalist revolution?”
Thibault said that he is very concerned about how the election result will impact groups like the Somalis of Finland.
“We’re already seen verbal attacks against them with PS MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, who told the media that Finland was no country for ‘Bedouins,’ leading the charge,” he said. “It should be clear by now to everyone that polarizing people of this great country is the end-game of these far-right and anti-immigration parties and groups.”
“But what do you say to your children when they go out?” he continued. “If you go outdoors be safe? Don’t go out by yourself? Under no circumstances leave your group? Don’t go to places where people give you hostile looks? Don’t get into a fight! Let your friends and families know at all times where you are?”
Migrant children and minorities should memorize the emergency police number 112 by heart. They should never forget that number because if they’re attacked verbally or physically in public there is a big change that nobody will come to their aid, according to Thibault.
The police and pub owners should be especially vigilant this weekend to ensure that our children don’t come in harm’s way. The Rasmus chairman said you’d be doing a public service to these young people by protecting them from society’s hostility and ensuring that nobody gets in trouble with the law.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The names 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.