Finland: Meanwhile, in Tampere…

There’s big news in Finland right now. An estimated 500 people protested the December 6 presidential celebration in Tampere during ice hockey demo against nationalism and capitalism. Banks and department store windows were smashed and cops attacked.

December 6 is Independence Day. It’s also the day of annual elite party organized by the Finnish President. Normally their celebrations are held in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, but this year the palace was under renovation, so they moved their nationalist and elitist party to the Tampere Hall.

In 1918, Tampere was the stronghold of the Reds during the Civil War. We haven’t forgotten that. In the central square and surrounding areas thousands of revolutionaries were killed. We wanted to show that there are still revolutionaries here, that we haven’t forgotten our past. A demonstration was organized with the all so popular ice hockey theme. The name of course was ‘Ice Hockey Gatecrasher Party’ (Kiakkovierasjuhlat).

“Citizenship is an illusion – Down with the State!”

Some national flags were stolen and trashed by hockey-people; others were taken down by the cops to prevent stealing.

About 500 demonstrators participated; some faithful to the hockey theme, others to pyrotechnics. We didn’t manage to gatecrash the presidential gala, but the reality of class society was heard during the night and the next days in all major newspapers, that appeared shocked about the broken windows and injured cops.

The demonstration went on to side streets after the police stopped us from walking the main street. When most people thought the protest had ended and already left the scene, some participants wanted to get back to the presidential celebration venue. At this point, one arrest was made. After they went back to the fences at the Tampere Hall and managed to provoke and attack the cops one more time, most people gradually left, and police arrested individuals quite randomly.

In total 28 people were arrested. They were let out the next couple of days with minor charges and fines ranging from 60 to 200 euros.

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