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First the ID's; When the stars? First the ID's; When the stars?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-05-31 07:50:09
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Days if not hours since the Finnish president, Tarja Halonen addressing the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International she emphasized the role that the new government will have in resisting racism and xenophobia we are reading in the news that the identification cards of Finnish and foreign nationals will differ clearly in the future. The last two years I keep writing about the many things that have changed lately in Finland and having fresh the dramatic rise of the xenophobic True Finns in the last elections, I see more and more often the state compromising with the darker side of the Finnish politics.

Everybody who lives in Finland is obliged to have a registered from the police Identification card. This ID has a photo, basic information and in a micro-chip some further information for the security forces and the police. There is nothing exceptional about it and Finland is not the only European country where its habitants carry an ID card. You like it or not this part of the rules you are obliged to follow. Still, carrying one of those IDs myself I have to emphasize certain things that show the respect this state has – or at least has until this moment – to the human rights; the IDs the foreigners and the locals carry are similar and there is no mention of nationality, religion, gender or anything else seperating.

Now IDs are something you use pretty often in Finland. You need to show it in the supermarket when the bill is over 50 Euros and the muscle at the door of the pub has the right to ask for it. Not to mention banks, post office and civil services. Having an ID that doesn’t discriminates you safeguards your rights as long you are legal - which you are in most cases and if you are illegal is not the ID that will stop you – and guaranties that you will not be discriminated from a xenophobe or a racist. And very correctly.

Before we saw the results of the last elections when the xenophobic True Finns dramatically rose from 4% to nearly 20% I kept writing that despite any electoral or percentage victory the xenophobes in Finland had won by turning a nation that proudly champions human rights to a scared and xenophobic state drowning in a very dark swamp. And unfortunately if the news are right this is a very dark milestone against human rights. According the Finnish news; adult Finns' ID cards will be blue, while foreigners' will be brown.

That means that the state becomes prejudice and xenophobic and I’m going to be marked as a foreigner and easy victim for anybody with issues with the foreigners. Suddenly the state consociates with the bullies and actually makes their job easier to isolate me. so the muscle in the pub’s door will have the right to stop me from entering just because quietly there is no entrance for the brown cards and of course the laws will protect me but the laws have never been the issue but the ones who apply the laws and the ones who cannot respect the ethic side of the law.

Tarja Halonen spoke and emphasize the rise of the xenophobia among the people but what about the state? And, Mrs Halonen, today it is the brown IDs, what comes tomorrow? Am I getting a star? Will I have the right to choose the colour or brown star for all the foreigners? And when that stops? Will it expand to ethnicity? religion? Sexuality? Brown IDs for the foreigners, green for the Muslims and purple for the gays? Do we sew the stars ourselves or do we have to go to special offices with rooms for Finnish men, Finnish women and foreigners? This is the first time I really wish Mrs. Halonen reads Ovi magazine!


       
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malikmalik 2012-04-28 09:26:14
i want id of ovi


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