Photos: Enrique Tessieri
In a powerful display of unity and determination, around 11,000 people gathered at Töölönlahti in Helsinki on a Sunday afternoon for the “Me emme vaikene” (We won’t keep silent) anti-racism demonstration. Organized by impassioned activists, this event sent a clear message to the Finnish government: it’s time to take concrete actions against racism.
Photo by Enrique Tessieri
A peaceful march for change:
The demonstration began at Senatintori, in the heart of Helsinki, where thousands of demonstrators came together. They marched peacefully to the Töölönlahti event park. It was a visually striking display of solidarity. Both the Helsinki police and the event organizers commended the peaceful nature of the protest.
Demanding more than words:
One of the most powerful aspects of this demonstration was the demand for action over mere rhetoric. Participants urged the government not only to denounce racism but also to implement anti-racist policies. This call for tangible change underscores the importance of addressing systemic issues at the policy level.
Expressing disappointment with government’s communication:
The organizers of the event were vocal about their disappointment with the government’s communication on anti-racism. They believe that the government’s efforts have so far fallen short. This sentiment reflects a growing frustration with the lack of progress in addressing racism at the highest levels of Finnish governance.
Addressing racist statements:
High-level politicians have come under scrutiny for statements that are seen as normalizing racism as experienced in throughout this summer marked by several Perussuomaliset* statements and a closet full of skeletons. The organizers of the demonstration expressed deep concern about this issue. They believe that such statements contribute to the perpetuation of racist attitudes and behaviors.
Photo by Enrique Tessieri
Pressures on media and research:
The demonstration also drew attention to concerns regarding freedom of the press, journalism, and academic research. Organizers highlighted the alarming fact; that some ministers (mainly from the Perussuomalaiset party) are exerting pressure or manipulation on these important pillars of society. This raises questions about the state of free expression and intellectual inquiry in Finland.
A unified message:
The “Me emme vaikene” demonstration serves as a powerful reminder that racism has no place in Finnish society. The collective voice of the 11,000 participants sends a clear message to the government: it’s time to take decisive action against racism in all its forms. This event has reinvigorated the debate about racial equity in Finland and highlighted the need for meaningful change.
Photo: Enrique Tessieri
The anti-racism demonstration in Helsinki was a remarkable display of solidarity, demanding concrete actions from the government to combat racism where Migrant Tales was also present. It has underscored the importance of addressing systemic issues, challenging racist statements, and protecting free expression in Finnish society. As the movement gains momentum, it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the calls for change, but one thing is clear: the people of Finland are no longer willing to keep silent about racism.