According to police sources the demonstration proceeded peacefully. The rally was seeded by private individuals on Facebook and called for an open and tolerant Finland that cares for minorities and shoulders its share of responsibility for global problems. About 1,700 people had signed up for the rally on the popular social networking site.
The organisers say the demonstration was also inspired by the landlside support enjoyed by the True Finns in the recent election. ”Those who were unsettled by the election result clearly felt a great need to come here and share their experiences,” said Heini Junkkaala, one of the organisers.
The organisers emphasised that the rally was not an attack against any group of people. However, it did aim to oppose the True Finns position on a number of issues, such as immigration, conservation, the status of linguistic minorities and gender equality.
”Our aim was to highlight the very values that we appreciate. It was good natured and community-spirited,” Junkkaala continued.
The demonstrators also protested in song, led by actresses Laura Malmivaara and Eeva Soinio, while a group of young adults carried the Finnish flag at the head of the rally.
”Our motto is, ’Finland has room for everyone’,” said Junkkaala.