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Sun, 20 Sep, 2015 12:00:00 AM
Anti-refugee demonstrations in Helsinki, Kemi, Tornio
FTimes- Report, Sep 20
 
People demonestrated at Tornio against refugee entry on Saturday. Photo Lehtikuva
Separate demonstrations were held in Kemi and Tornio on Saturday to protest the entry of refugees in the country while right wing activists demonstrated against multiculturalism in Helsinki.
 
According to the police, the events in Kemi and Tornio both saw the participation of around 200 to 300 demonstrators.
 
A gathering of around 200 people demonstrated in Helsinki, and according to the police, the event was peaceful.
 
The demonstrators in Tornio called for the borders to be closed. A few dozen refugees who wanted to cross the border back to Sweden had been sitting at the Tornio travel centre around noon on Sunday. Besides the refugees, the representatives of the Finnish Red Cross and Tornio parish were at the travel centre.
 
The atmosphere was much more vibrant a few dozen metres from the travel centre, when the “Close the borders” demonstrators arrived near the border protesting Finnish border and refugee policy. 
 
Demonstration for closing the borders and against migrants continued in the town of Kemi on Saturday September 19 , 2015 . Photo Lehtikuva
“Security is the word of the day,” Juhani Keinänen, a resident of Tornio said before the start of the demonstration. He arrived at the scene with his wife and daughter. This was the first time Keinänen was participating in a demonstration.
 
The situation was the same for Silja-Maria Korkalainen who also had joined the demonstration.
 
“There was no need to participate in the past. Now, in my view, we all need to participate in the defence of the motherland,” Korkalainen said.
 
The demonstration in Tornio was also noted on the Swedish side of the border. According to Finnish Red Cross spokesperson Pekka Reinikainen, the Swedish police stopped some of the buses on the Swedish side during the time of the demonstration.
 
Photo Lehtikuva
However, soon after the end of the demonstration, the buses crossed the border.
 
“In the morning a few dozen people came. Now in the afternoon several hundreds have arrived,” Aila Ylinärä from Tornio parish said.
 
At the Tornio travel centre, refugees were offered water, tea, eggs and bread, among other things. The refugees also enquired about the bus schedules.
 
“People are in a hurry to move forward. Some want, for instance, Kemi and some came to ask for the timetables of the buses heading to Turku,” Ylinärä said.
 
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