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Police remove agitators from Helsinki Pride event at Oodi library

The protestors attempted to disrupt a story time event hosted by a drag queen for children aged 6-10.

File photo of Oodi Central Library in downtown Helsinki. Image: Jorge Gonzalez / Yle

Police have removed a number of agitators attempting to disrupt a Helsinki Pride week event taking place in the Oodi Central Library on Friday morning.

The storytime event for children aged between 6 and 10 was being hosted by a drag queen, when protestors tried to disrupt the proceedings, police said.

This led to at least three confrontations in the lower lobby of the library building between the protesters and people who opposed them, Oodi director Anna-Maria Soininvaara told Yle.

The storytime event was taking place in the children's area upstairs, and went well, Soininvaara added.

"The police took the situation seriously because we had received a lot of threatening messages. The artist also received them," Soininvaara said.

She added that the agitators said they were against "grooming", which refers to the sexually suggestive solicitation of a child or young person, and that some of them were wearing swastika symbols.

"There has been talk of a drag queen, as if it were a very sexualised character. In reality, it was a fairy tale character and the event was specifically designed for children," Soininvaara noted.

Helsinki police wrote on Twitter that officers were called to the library and removed some people from the scene, with help from stewards.

They added that the situation was quickly calmed and that there were no grounds for making any arrests.