The head of the far-right Nazi-spirited vigilante group Soldiers of Odin, Mika Ranta, threatened in a statement to take over the Tornio border checkpoint and defend it by force if the Swedish authorities let in asylum seekers as in 2015.
Center Party MP Mikko Kärnä states in the Center Party newspaper Suomenmaa that he has asked the police to investigate if the far-right group, which has ties with the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, broke the law by stating that it would take over the Tornio border checkpoint and defend it by violence.
Kärnä also said that if the Soldiers of Odin’s association broke the law, they should be banned.
What has overtaken this country if we have violent far-right public figures spread hatred with relative ease? Finland was slow to react and is still reacting. National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen and then Minister of Employment Jari Lindström openly supported in 2016 vigilante gangs like the Soldiers of Odin while then-Interior Minister Petteri Orpo was skeptical.
“If the Swedish border guards plan to slide from their responsibilities and imagines that it can let in people without appropriate travel documents to cross the Finnish side of the border, we will organize in Tornio to protect our people.
If the Finnish government does not before that take responsibility for the country’s internal security and initiate effective border controls to curb organized crime and prevent undocumented aliens from entering [our country], it is the task of brave Finns with their iron determination to take over the border checkpoint in Tornio. If we face after that violence from aliens, we will meet in The Hague [court of justice]. It is the same if we face violence from the authorities. We will use force if necessary.
This nonsense must stop.
Bring back respect for legality and bring the traitors to justice.
Sticking one’s head in the snow will not make the far-right threat disappear.
That is why we need a concerted effort to challenge such groups in order to defend our Nordic democratic institutions.
*A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.