In the last year, when it comes to immigration, Finland has made international headlines for all the wrong reasons – from idiotic, right-wing vigilantes prancing around the streets to racist greetings made to families fleeing the horrors of the Syrian civil war. Happily, that all changed this weekend when more than 20,000 people marched in Helsinki to protest against racism and violence. Prompted by the death of a man attacked during a neo-Nazi Finland’s Resistance Movement rally earlier this month, the march organised by Peli Poikki (Stop this game!) received huge worldwide coverage.
“Enough is enough. We have a right-wing government, including the racist Perus party, doing nothing about the fascists. How many more people do they have to kill before the government stamps them out? That is why I am here,” said a demonstrator, Jari Laine.
One man joining Laine and the 20,000 strong demonstration was Miemo Penttinen, a photographer and the Co-founder of the mobile learning app company Funzi. His photos below give a fantastic insight into a march, which looks set to change the political discourse in a country where the far-right has been given free reign for far too long.
While this massive march was taking place, the far-right, hiding in a side street, put on their own counter march. This was the result of their call to action.