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Police in Helsinki quell defiant Turkish invasion protesters

Finnish police report that some of the demonstrators did not follow police instructions, compelling them to use force.

Poliisi kertoo käyttäneensä voimakeinoja Turkin toimia ja Syyrian sotaa vastustavan mielenosoituksen yhteydessä. Mielenosoittajien kulkue Rautatieaseman edessä Helsingissä lauantaina 19. lokakuuta.
Protesters and police clashed in Helsinki on 19 October. Image: Irene Stachon / Lehtikuva

Police in Helsinki, Finland report using force at a demonstration against the Turkish incursion into Syria on Saturday. In a tweet issued at around 4 pm, Helsinki Police said that "some of the protesters did not follow police instructions. […] We were forced to intervene by preventing the organizers' vehicle from joining the march, which took place on foot."

An earlier tweet from the force reported that officers were being resisted in the Narinkkatori square, the starting location of the protest in front of the Kamppi shopping complex. "Police were compelled to use force," the tweet said.

Demonstrations gathered in the Finnish cities of Helsinki, Turku and Tampere on Saturday to oppose Turkish actions and the war in Syria, according to a bulletin from the Rojavan Puolesta group promoting solidarity with Syria's Rojava region. Several people on the group's Twitter site commented that the police were carrying tasers.

Law enforcement estimates that about 300 people participated in the protest in Helsinki. A march departed from the Narinkkatori square and walked the city centre area, causing traffic disruptions, before ending at Kansalaistori (Citizens' Square).

In Turku, some 200 people made a similar march through the city. Local police report that the demonstration proceeded without incident.

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