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Harassing democracy in Turku
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-11-21 09:20:37
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One of the first demonstrations I saw in Helsinki it was over ten years ago and it was a demonstration against the creation of another nuclear plan, a conversation that was just in its beginning back then. I have to admit that the number of the demonstrators that march in front the Finnish parliament shocked me and it was not the weather that kept the people home it was the usual Finnish attitude towards this short of acts.

Less than fifty people in front the parliament with something like five six carton banners were standing quietly in front the building waiting for the MPs and explain to them calmly their arguments. There is nothing wrong with it but remembering anti-nuclear demonstrations in UK back in eighties this was like cuing in front of a fancy restaurant. For ten years I had the chance to see more demonstrations in Finland and mainly in Helsinki and I always felt a bit strange watching groups of maximum fifty people demonstrating quietly on the side of the street mainly around the parliament and especially having memories – including personal participations – from demonstration in UK, Germany and Greece were hundreds, often thousands of people blocking series of streets and of course all the traffic in the centre of cities, full of passion and sometimes of violence.

So you can imagine that the appearance of nearly a hundred people marching in the city of Turku is a big number for Finland but the significant was not the appearance of the hundred people who peacefully demonstrated participating in the anti-racism week but the appearance of 15 – according the national news agency and the police – hecklers who harassed verbally the demonstrators proudly carrying Nazi symbols in tattoos and clothing. Suddenly these 15 become more significant than the hundred.

in Finland generations grow up learning that they were forced into alliance with the Nazi Germany to protect their country from Stalin’s Russia that was ready to invade and of course the emphasize the winter war events of 1939 forgetting – often misleading – to mention that in the name of survival they allied with the total evil. So a series generation grew up believing that the Nazis weren’t so bad and of course the same time they created the convenient myths like “we never touched the Jews” even though they packed them and let them to their destiny with the attitude “don’t ask, don’t know.”

Then you get political parties with power – according to latest surveys – that reach the 14% of the electoral group with hopes to become partners in future government with the name “True Finns” a name that identifies their attitude and behaviour then why be shocked when you see a group with neo-Nazi symbols harassing peaceful demonstrators just because they are talking about anti-racism. I have said it before many times, I’m going to say it once more, how can you have in a democratic and member of the EU country a party with the name “True Finns”? By definition and only from the name this is a prejudice party and comments like we want immigrants as long they look like us, they act like us and they speak like us is like when Hitler was saying that the Jews are going to working camps.

Who’s responsible? A lot and mainly the state and the political parties. The laws are there but the problem is with the people who apply the laws and in this case it is also the politicians that instead of explaining to the people, educating, informing them they follow the easy way of populism in exchange of some votes often forgetting that even Hitler came to power after democratic elections.

Living in Finland the last ten years I have seen things changing dangerously to the worst regarding tolerance and I’m afraid lately it’s not only turning to worst but turning to evil. These fifteen people who harassed the demonstrations in Turku are just the top of the iceberg and whoever lives in this country or reads carefully the news knows that there is the right soil for parasites to grow.

The saddest thing about the city of Turku is that is going to be one of the European cultural capitals for the year 2011. Let’s hope that these fifteen is not the culture Turku will exhibit and please don’t tell me that they were only fifteen, a small number to take seriously because that means that you see the tree and miss the forest and in country like Finland missing the forest it will be at least naïve if not idiotic.

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Sonex2012-04-16 17:22:49
I have a much bigger story for you about Turku and Finland. It involves 12 police departments from 4 countries and forgeries made by the Turku police. Search google.

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