Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Olli Immonen, who is chairman of the white Finnish supremacist Suomen Sisu, was joined by members of a neo-Nazi group at the grave of Eugen Schauman, who took his life on June 16, 1904 after assassinating Russian Governor General Nikolai Bobrikov, reports YLE in English.
Members of the neo-Nazi Suomen Kansallinen Vastarinta, who were present with Immonen, form part of a violent association that was involved in attacking a book presentation in Jyväskylä 2013 where one person was stabbed.
PS city councilman for Espoo, Teemu Lahtinen, who used to be a member of IKL, a fascist party founded originally in the early 1930s and was former chairman of Suomen Sisu, was present at the event as well.
YLE in English calls Kansallinen Vastarina a “national socialist” associaiton. In plain English that should mean neo-Nazi.
Apart from the two PS politicians, on their left are six members of the neo-Nazi Kansallinen Vastarinta association. Updated 21.8.15.
We already have one recent case before Immonen where the PS has decided not to take any action . The first was when substitute Helsinki councilman Olli Sademies wrote that Africans should be sterilized in Finland after they have a third child.
PS party secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo said that that Sademies’ racist statements are his own and not of the party’s.
Sampo Terho, leader of the PS parliamentary delegation and whose far right and xenophobic ideas are no secret, echoed what Slunga-Poutsalo’s response to what Sademies said about sterilizing Africans in Finland.
“Immonen took part in a civic organisation’s event as a private person, not a representative of the Finns Party parliamentary group,” he was quoted as saying on YLE in English. “Therefore the parliamentary group has nothing to do with the incident.”
One wonders where all this xenophobia and ultranationalism will lead Finland and, importantly, why other parties haven’t condemned what Immonen did.
Flirting with Islamophobia and neo-Nazi groups like the Kansallinen Vastarinta and Suomen Sisu all point Finland on one scary path characterized by isolation, ultranationalism and far right populism.
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English 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.