The Finnish police’s lame excuse for disbanding the #RightToLive demonstration in Helsinki

by , under Enrique Tessieri and Zimema Mhone

Let’s go back a day and recall one of the most incredible excuses to shut down the #RighToLive demonstration in downtown Helsinki. Deputy police chief Heikki Kopperaoinen told YLE News Friday that the demonstration could no longer be held in the Helsinki Railway Square after 140 days because of security issues. 

UPDATED at 10:08 pm:

In plain English, “security issues” mean provocations and threats by far-right groups like Finland First.

Instead of giving space to far right groups, racism, and bigotry, we should stand up to such social ills.

Racism, like any other type of violence, must be challenged. Caving into its provocations and violence is not the way fight it. We must send a clear message that we won’t be provoked by such hostility.

Thank you Zimema Mhone of Touch Engage Media for sending this video. Demonstrators marched Friday to the offices of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) on Friday.

In our opinion, Deputy Police Chief Kopperaoinen’s statement is unacceptable because it reveals something more sinister about our society.

Thanks to research by NGOs like the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) proving that racism exists in our society is no longer the case. What we must do is challenge the denial that surrounds this social ill.

One researcher in the ENAR study, Mutuma Ruteere, exposes what is not only happening throughout Europe but in Finland. He said that the problem is not only the discourse coming from far right parties, “but in the fact that established mainstream parties do not reject such discourses and even often support them.”

Nour Jamal, one of the most active organizers of the #RightToLive demonstration, was confident that they would continue their protest despite the momentary setback. Read the posting here.

CORRECTION: We used #RightToLive but YLE News uses #RightToLife. We will use the former because that’s what the demonstrators use. 

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