keskiviikko 6. joulukuuta 2017

Finland turns 100! – A report from the Finnish independence day

Since there probably is not much English reports how the Finnish society celebrated the independence day, I thought I'll write one from my personal perspective. I rarely write this sort of reports in English so please forgive me the lingual mistakes...

As an anarcho-communist I don't find myself very patriotic person. I generally do like the Finnish government as it provides reasonably good education for most of it's citizens and tries to take care of them when they fall sick or hit on a rough. This has been lately getting much worse though and our society has seen many glimpses of possible future as a totalitarian nation.

I personally spent the national holiday in a demonstration against neo-nazis, who marched trough our capital, Helsinki. The demo was organized by a local anarchist group and the local Left Youth organization. Last year there was a similar situation. Unlike last year this year the police didn't let the demonstration stop the neonazi-march.

There was about 300 neo-nazis against 3000 antifascist demonstrators. The neo-nazis' goal was and has been for several years to join a patriotic torch march called 612. The torch marches organizer has been silently sympathetic towards the neo-nazis joining the march, but hasn't openly approved them. The antifascist goal has been to prevent this happening and in make the neo-nazis feel their presence as a criminal organization unwelcome in our city. Sadly this year the police seemed at least apathetic on letting the neo-nazi march being stopped. There has been some evidence that a big part of the police forces in Finland share some of the same views than the illegal neo-nazi organization.

We actually tried to convince the head of the police to move away and to our side. It would have made sense, since the neo-nazi organization has been found illegal by the Finnish court, although the ruling is not in effect yet. But the police decided not to keep their promise of letting our demonstration to continue in schedule.

In general this year's encounter was more peaceful than several years before. This even though there was more people participating on both sides. Perhaps this year was more peaceful because the neo-nazis didn't have to stop. I find it deeply troubling that in order to prevent conflict the police let's an illegal neo-nazi group show their strength

All-in-all the demonstration was over in few hours and me and my friends retired in a pub for dinner.

While I was enjoying my immigrant-made pizza, I got some photo messages from the center of the city showing people dressed as WW2 german soldiers. It seems that our society is not only politically split in half, there is a big problem with some part of our youth trying to find their meaning in life in hatred.

After the dinner I went in a pub to meet some friends. Our table was joined by a less-than-sober older woman. She apparently found my face (which was covered with red and black paint from the demo) irritating. She was at first curious, but polite. After a while her tone changed and then she made a Hitler-salute. As we all felt uncomfortable from her behavior she left us alone with a parting remark "read your history books". I don't know what books she has read, but I don't find that her view of the history is based much on facts.

Finland turns 100 years old. Weirdly I don't think our nation has changed that much from it's beginning years: we are politically split in half and fascism is getting it's foot deeper in the doorway. Back then the situation turned in to a bloody civil war... I really, really hope that we don't celebrate our history by repeating every part of it!