Giving into to racist violence against the #righttolife protestors is handing a carte blanche to commit more hate crimes

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Today at around 4:30 am the camp where the Iraqi and Afghan #righttolife demonstrators have been protesting since February were a target of an attack that set alight one of the tents. One person got his hands burned while trying to put out the fire and was taken to the hospital for treatment. 

“One person threw something flammable at the tent and ran away,” said Nour Jamal, a #righttolife activist who has been demonstrating since mid-February. “This is the worst attack we’ve experienced so far but we won’t be deterred by what happened.”

Jamal said on Thursday that name-calling and racist harassment by people who pass by is common and happens daily. He said that the worst days are Saturday nights because a lot of people are drunk and shout racist obscenities.

Pictures from where the arson attack took place. If asylum seekers would have acted in such a cowardly way their would be cries of murder from many far-right and ant-immigration sectors of society. Source: Facebook.

At first the police service considered the incident that took place in the early hours of the morning as a minor incident but later on upgraded it to vandalism.

A recent incident last weekend, when an asylum seeker was attacked with pepper spray, shows that the people of the far-right Suomi Ensin (Finland First) camp and others are losing patience and losing the battle.

Certainly government officials like Interior Minister Paula Risikko is responsible for inciting hatred against asylum seekers and migrants. She has gone on record by stating that asylum seekers who become undocumented are a threat to our society.

Her statements are no different from Päivi Nerg of the interior ministry, who – like Risikko – wants to discourage organizations and people from helping undocumented migrants.

“We plan to stay here for as long as it takes,” Jamal told Migrant Tales in an interview Thursday. “This demonstration is important because it has restored our belief in ourselves and dignity; it sends a clear message that we too have a right to fight for our rights and that we are human beings, too.”

After today’s incident and the worrying rise of hate speech and crimes in Finland,  it is crucial for us to not be intimidated and succumb to the hatred and violence that targets and intimidates us.

Our country cannot afford to give in to violence in any form and shape.

That is why it is important that the #righttolife demonstration at the Helsinki Railway Station must continue for as long as it takes.