Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.
When was the first time that immigrants demonstrated for greater rights in Finland? Two major demonstrations by non-Finns took place in 1974 and 1982. The first one was by some 50 Pakistanis who marched from Turku to Helsinki because they were going to be deported by the authorities after they came with expectations of finding work in Finland.
Eila Kännö (1921-2009), the cantankerous Aliens’ Office head during 1970-84, was a state within a state. An interesting matter to investigate would be the relationship her office had with Pakistani honorary consul, Arne Roiha. In order for Pakistanis to get a residence and work permit in Finland, they had to get the green light from Roiha, who ran and employed Pakistanis at three restaurants in Helsinki: Kaisaniemi, Ässäpata and Klippan. Roiha fled to Florida from Finland due to problems with the Finnish tax authorities.
The second demonstration, which took place on October 19, 1982, was the largest march to ever take place in Finland. Some 300 foreigners and Finns marched from Helsinki University Porthania Hall to the Eduskunta (parliament).
The march, which was the top story on the 8:30 news, received wide attention by the Finnish media. A day before the demonstration, former Aliens’ Office head Eila Kännö had vowed to throw in jail the foreigners who had organized the march. The march was organized by the Helsinki Students’ Union (HYY). In Finland, foreigners did not have at the time rights to organize demonstrations.
The caption reads: Historic in Finland – foreigners dare to demand greater rights. This march took place on October 19, 1982. Published by Kansan Uutiset Viikolehti.