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Vandals target Finns Party's Helsinki office; Yle blamed for attack

Finns Party members arrived at their office Thursday morning to find the windows shattered. An anonymous party claimed responsibility for the incident in a manifesto posted on the community news site Takku.

Perussuomalaisten Helsingin piirin toimisto 19. syyskuuta.
Perussuomalaisten Helsingin piirin toimisto 19. syyskuuta. Image: Jari Lam / Lehtikuva

The vandals behind the attack moved in the wee hours of Thursday morning, shattering the windows of the Finns Party's office space on Hämeentie in Helsinki. 

A lengthy statement rationalising the attack was posted on the informal news website Takku, claiming that the authors had “shattered to pieces the front windows of the Finns Party's promotional space on Hämeentie” in Vallila, Helsinki.

Finns Party spokesman Matti Putkonen told Yle that apart from the windows, computers had also been broken. However there were no reports of personal injury.

Finns Party officials up security levels

The authors of the statement claimed that they wanted “to make things difficult for the Finns Party in a concrete way”. The statement also went on to say that the authors would also “employ direct actions against the Finns Party and other fascists”.

Putkonen said the attack has prompted party officials to increase security levels.

Party Secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo said that the incident represented an attack on democracy. She speculated that the deed was intended to intimidate those who were sympathetic towards the party.

Finns Party MP and chair of the Parliamentary Defence Committee Jussi Niinistö condemned the stoning of the office. He wrote in his blog that a criminal report had been filed over the case. Police later confirmed an investigation has been launched.

Yle blamed for agitation

Putkonen and Slunga-Poutsalo said that in recent days party members had been harassed at various open-air events, culminating in Thursday’s incident.

The party officials later laid blame for the vandalism and other disruptive events at the feet of national broadcaster Yle. They pointed a finger at an Yle radio programme, which they said had agitated people against the party.  

“The movement clearly began after the election in Sweden and specifically after different Yle discussion programmes that dealt with the Swedish election, where they began to draw comparisons with the Sweden Democratic Party, fascists and then the Finns Party,” Putkonen remarked.

Putkonen also blamed in particular comments made in an Yle interview by Tiina Rosenberg, rector of Helsinki’s University of the Arts, whose reflections touched on the values of the Finns Party and the Sweden Democrats.

The Finns Party officials said they have no links whatsoever with the far-right anti-immigrant party.

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