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Pride Procession in Helsinki

The Helsinki Pride festival, an event devoted to celebrating the rights of sexual minorities, culminated in a carnival-like procession through the streets of Helsinki Saturday. Police estimate that about 5,000 people participated in the procession.

Helsingin Pride -kulkue. Image: Yle

The march kicked off at 1.00 pm from the Senate Square in downtown Helsinki and proceeded along Aleksanterinkatu and Mannerheimintie to the Hakasalmi Park.

The parade was slightly marred by a small skirmish, in which bystanders attacked members of the procession with pepper spray. The incident took place at the corner of Aleksanterinkatu and Kluuvinkatu. Police held three men in their thirties in connection with the incident.

It’s not known how many marchers were affected by the spray however it seems that no serious injuries were reported. Police are calling on anyone affected by the spraying incident to report the matter to Helsinki police.

The Pride festival was launched last Monday, and this year its 60 individual events topped the energy of previous years’ efforts. However, over the years, the celebration has gathered thousands of supporters.

The purpose of the Pride celebrations is to highlight the rights and culture of Finland’s sexual minorities. This year, the Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb was patron of the festival.

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