FINLAND: More than 10,000 gather in Helsinki for anti-racism protest against government

Extract of article published by Yle News on 03/09/2023 – accessible here.

Some 10,000-11,000 people joined a large-scale anti-racism demonstration in central Helsinki on Sunday afternoon, according to the police.

Organisers said the event was a peaceful and politically unaffiliated protest. More than 100 organisations had declared their support for the demonstration ahead of Sunday.

People disappointed with the government’s anti-racism briefing this past Thursday joined the event, with organisers coordinating group transport to the capital from other cities.

Demonstrators called on the government to respect Finland’s constitution and the international agreements it has signed.

In a press release, the protest organisers said the demonstration would be peaceful and politically non-aligned. They added that they were motivated to protest by disappointment in the current government, the series of racism scandals involving Finns Party ministers, and the government’s recently-released statement on how it plans to tackle racism and discrimination.