Thursday 28.05.2020

Finnish neo-Nazis determined to parade on Independence Day despite police ban

'Soldiers of Odin' calls to demonstrate in downtown Helsinki two hours after the Police banned another march organized by 'Movement Towards Freedom'.

Image: Nick Gibbs.
Image: Nick Gibbs.

Despite the successive bans of the authorities, Finnish neo-Nazis are still determined to dirty their country's good international reputation by parading through the streets of Helsinki on Independence Day. In 2018 they caused serious incidents in the capital city with the display of Nazi flags, which required the intervention of the police.

On Wednesday, the Helsinki Police Department banned a march announced by the so-called 'Movement Towards Freedom' (Kohti Vappautta, in Finnish) in Helsinki on 6 December, the date marking Finland's Independence Day and a national holiday for Finns.

Just a couple of hours later, another similar march was announced by the 'Soldiers of Odin' group on its website, without the Police having yet said what they intend to do about it.


Image: screenshot from the 'Soldiers of Odin' website.

The Police justified the ban on the march organized by the 'Movement Towards Freedom' because it is considered as a substitute of the neo-Nazi 'Nordic Resistance' (PVL), over which the Supreme Court imposed a temporary ban in March this year.

The organization intended to hold a demonstration throughout the center of the capital city, which would begin at 14:30 in Narinkkatori, in the Kamppi district, and end at 18:00 in the Töölö Sport Hall parking lot. The march had been announced to the authorities on 12 November.

Now the 'Soldiers of Odin', another fascist and xenophobic group which in the past marched together with PVL, are calling on neo-Nazis to demonstrate with them in Helsinki the same day at 15:00 under the slogan 'Safe Finland back'. The group says that "soon" they will announce detailed schedules and routes.

Same members and objectives

The police explained in a release that 'Nordic Resistance' and the successor 'Movement Towards Freedom' have the same active members. In addition, both organizations "share a common visual identity, the same ideas and objectives, which are pursued by using the same slogans", police says.

Links among them can be found also in their websites and, that display similar content.

For the above reasons, Helsinki police decided that the announced parade cannot be considered as "legitimate and peaceful" according to the Finnish Constitution, the Assembly Act and the terms of the International Human Rights Treaties and European Court of Human Rights case law.