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Counter-demonstration against extreme nationalism in Helsinki

About 150 anti-extremist demonstrators gathered in downtown Helsinki Saturday to protest the rise of extreme nationalist sentiment in Finland.

Mielenosoituskulkue, etureunassa mustapohjainen banderolli, jossa teksti 'Kaikki erilaisia, kaikki samanarvoisia'.
Image: Ulla-Maija Hamunen / YLE

The demonstrators engaged in a peacful march from the old Post Office headquarters to the Hakaniemi market square to oppose a gathering of about 20 members of the extreme nationalist organisation Suomen Vastarintaliike (Finnish Resistance Movement).

The charter of Suomen Vastarintaliike includes the creation of a common Nordic state by opposing multiculturalism with aggressive political action. The organisation’s website says its ideological roots lie in nationalism and socialism.

The counter-demonstration proceeded peacefully, and the groups did not meet face to face. Left Alliance Youth leader Li Andersson said the counter-demonstrators weren’t in search of any violent clashes.

”We’re not looking for violent confrontation. In addition to opposing the extreme right ideology, we’re also anti-violence.”

Andersson also noted that many different kinds of people participated in the counter-march, which bears no resemblance to anti-facist movements such as those in Germany and Russia.

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