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Anti-immigration protest draws 200 in Helsinki

In Helsinki, Tornio and Kemi, small groups of people protested against immigration on Saturday.

Image: Markku Sandell / Yle

On Saturday afternoon about 200 people gathered at Helsinki’s Narinkkatori to protest immigration.

Many chanted "Finland belongs to Finns" and several people addressed the crowd, but no politicians or well-known people were among those who made public speeches.

The peaceful demonstration was observed by police, who said the protesters began walking towards the House of Estates just before 4 pm, which caused some minor traffic problems.

According to Yle reporter Markku Sandell, who was at the scene, the general consensus among those gathered was that Finland’s situation is so bad, that Finns should be taken care of before others are helped.

Further north in the city of Tornio there was also a gathering of people opposing immigration at the bus station. The police estimate that about 200 to 300 people were present. Earlier in the day about 100 people walked to the Finnish-Swedish border and formed a human wall.

According to the Interior Ministry, 500 refugees arrived in Tornio on the Finnish-Swedish border on Friday. On Saturday, the same number of people was expected. Buses for the refugees arrived after 1 pm at the bus station, where the demonstration was organised.

In the town of Kemi there was also demonstration that drew about 200 to 300 people.

A week ago Saturday an event welcoming refugees drew more than 1,000 people in Helsinki. Meanwhile, a diversity rally in July drew 15,000 people to Citizen's Square in response to Finns Party MP Olli Immonen's anti-immigration comments on Facebook.

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