Thou­sands march in anti-racism ral­lies

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

TENS of thou­sands of peo­ple, in­clud­ing the Fin­nish prime min­is­ter and a for­mer pres­i­dent, have taken to the streets of sev­eral ci­ties across Fin­land to demon­strate against racism and vi­o­lence in the coun­try.

Satur­day’s marches un­der the ban­ner “Enough is enough” were staged in re­sponse to the fa­tal as­sault on a 28-yearold man ear­lier this month in the cap­i­tal Helsinki who had protested against a neo-Nazi group, ac­cord­ing to Fin­nish broad­caster YLE.

The man died on Septem­ber 16 of his in­juries, al­most a week af­ter he was in­volved in an al­ter­ca­tion with mem­bers of the Fin­nish Re­sis­tance Move­ment.

The man was kicked and hit his head on the ground af­ter re­port­edly spit­ting in front of mem­bers of the neo-Nazi group. A 26-year-old man, who po­lice said was an ac­tive mem­ber of the neo-Nazi group, was on Wed­nes­day re­manded in cus­tody on sus­pi­cion of in­vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter.

Lead­ing politi­cians, in­clud­ing Prime Min­is­ter Juha Sip­ila, con­demned the in­ci­dent, amid calls to ban racist or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Po­lice in Helsinki es­ti­mated that 15 000 peo­ple joined Satur­day’s march to Se­nate Square.

The rally con­cluded with short speeches by, among oth­ers, for­mer pres­i­dent Tarja Halo­nen, mu­sic and a mo­ment of si­lence for the de­ceased 28-year-old.

Two anti-im­mi­gra­tion pro­test­ers were ar­rested at two other lo­ca­tions in Helsinki, po­lice said.

Sip­ila, the prime min­is­ter, at­tended an anti-racist protest on Satur­day in the city of Kuo­pio.

He said the gov­ern­ment would soon an­nounce new mea­sures “con­cern­ing ex­trem­ist groups”, YLE re­ported.

Anti-racist events were also staged with­out in­ci­dent in Tam­pere, Joen­suu and Jy­vaskyla. — AFP

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