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Sat, 02 May, 2015 12:14:40 AM
Protests mark celebration in Helsinki, Turku
FTimes-STT Report, May 2
May Day rally in Helsinki on Friday. Photo Lehtikuva.
Barring some sporadic incidents, peaceful celebrations at home and abroad marked the observance of the International Workers’ Day, widely known as May Day commemorating the 1886 uprising of Chicago workers to institute their rights.
 
The celebration of May Day, locally called Vappu Day, began on Thursday evening through washing and crowning of the Havis Amanda statue in the capital, with around 80,000 people witnessing the ceremony, but the main celebration and May Day rallies were held on Friday at different parts of the country.
 
Several thousand people participated in May Day processions at different parts ignoring rainy weather in some places, although the weather was warm and sunny in most parts of the country.
 
Thousands of people took part in the traditional May Day procession in Helsinki, according to police.
 
President Sauli Niinistö and first lady Jenni Haukio received traditional May Day greetings. Photo Lehtikuva.
In Tampere, different groups estimated to be in their hundreds led the procession.

In line with May Day celebrations, students occupied Harju in Jyväskylä in which according to the police, around 500 people took part.

In Oulu and Jyväskylä, vintage automobile enthusiasts took the opportunity to showcase their cars. 

In most parts of the country the event was marked in clear and sunny weather. In some parts, the temperature was more than 10 degrees Celsius.

President Sauli Niinistö and first lady Jenni Haukio received traditional May Day greetings from people from different strata including YL Male Voice Choir and the Suomen Työväen Musiikkiliitto (Finnish Workers' Music Association).

Meanwhile, about 200 people brought out a protest procession at Dallapén park, police said.
 
Protest procession in Helsinki during May Day celebrations on Friday. Photo Lehtikuva.
The police in Helsinki were well prepared to check any untoward incident during the celebrations and the procession was overseen by at least twenty police vans and a number of police officers in riot gear.

The police vans were pelted with eggs and beverage cans during the procession.

"Minor vandalism was witnessed, but overall the march went well," said senior inspector Seppo Kujala.

Due to special arrangements, traffic congestion resulted along Hämeentie and trams stopped at Kurvi.
 
The second largest anarchist procession was held in Turku, and according to the South-west Finland police department, the proceedings which was participated by about 55 people later went on smoothly.

May Day rally. Photo Lehtikuva.
International Workers’ Day marks the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for their legitimate rights, including an eight-hour working day. The firing resulted in the deaths of several demonstrators and police officers.
 
May 1 was adopted as International Workers’ Day by socialist delegates in Paris in 1889. More than 400 delegates met in Paris on the centenary of the French revolution at the Marxist International Socialist Congress, the founding meeting of the Second International.
The 1889 resolution called for a one-time demonstration but it became an annual event in the course of time. May Day was celebrated in Russia, Brazil and Ireland first in 1891.


 

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