FINLAND. The Nordic Resistance Movement sent a delegation to the nationalist Independence Day demonstrations in Helsinki earlier this month. Here follows a report from one of the Swedish participants.
When I awoke at 5 a.m. on Monday after a night with hardly any sleep due to both nervousness and anticipation (as this was my first trip abroad with comrades from the Resistance Movement and I didn’t really know what to expect), I was surprisingly alert. The fact that I was so alert despite minimal sleep was probably due to how much I was looking forward to the trip.
After I got up and got ready, the journey to Helsinki began, which would take approximately 20 hours. On the way to the boat, we picked up comrades one by one until the car was full. This made things increasingly crowded, but also led to hour-long discussions with comrades you don’t meet too often otherwise, which was a nice break from everyday life.
The next leg of the journey was via ferry. Those who did not eat along the way chose to have dinner onboard, which, according to them, was very tasty.
It was then time to head to our cabins, where the conversations continued for another couple of hours before bed. Topics of discussion included who had made the trip before and what expectations should be for the demonstrations, based on previous years.
Arrival in Finland
Once we arrived in Helsinki, we were met by our contact and dropped off our luggage at his apartment, where we would later spend the night. Next, it was time to head to the city centre to have lunch, before participating in two demonstrations.
The first demonstration was organised by Suomi Herää (Finland, Awake!), an ethno-nationalist organisation that had gathered hundreds of demonstrators.
During the march, the only notable opposition was a group of five or six tragic counter-protesters, which I was informed were Maoist separatists from Antifa, who left due to differing views on the Ukraine war. Otherwise, not many people could be seen opposing the demonstration, and everything went peacefully. I remember wondering when the reds were going to show up, but they were nowhere to be seen throughout the event.
In due course, the march arrived at the Finnish Parliament, where speeches were given. Speaking to Nordfront, the Finnish nationalist Tapio Rantanen said the following about the content of the speeches:
The speeches focused greatly on Finland’s independence and how Finns should define themselves as an ethnic group. The most important part of being Finnish is our blood.
I myself had difficulty understanding any of this, as I do not speak Finnish. However, one thing that was obvious, despite the language barriers, was that the presentation and the speeches radiated a very powerful feeling.
Flag-bearers lined up in front of the gigantic stone building of the Finnish Parliament and its extensive steps, which run along its façade. A little way up, in the middle of the steps, a tent was erected on a podium, with additional flag bearers and a large LED sign with Suomi Herää’s symbol.
After the speeches, it was time for most of the audience to go to the assembly point for the big 6.12 march [named after 6th December, Finland’s Independence Day]. However, because Antifa had tried to block the planned route in previous years, I and some of the others went a different way in case we needed to intercept these soy boys and chase them off. In the end, such an intervention proved unnecessary, as they never came close enough.
I was surprised that ordinary people were allowed to stand close to the demonstration march. This was because the police had made no significant attempts to block off central parts of Helsinki during the first march, or during the subsequent torchlit march. A big difference compared to how things usually work at home in Sweden.
The torchlight procession organised by the 6.12 movement was even bigger than the first demonstration. It began with a march to a cemetery, where it is a tradition to visit the graves of war heroes. One of the Swedish-speaking Finns explained to us what is written on the various graves. One represents the Swedish volunteers in the Finnish Winter War, one the Danish volunteers, and another pays tribute to the SS men who fought for Finland.
I thought it was very interesting to hear about who came to Finland’s defence during the war, and I was impressed there was actually a gravestone for the SS men. This made me wonder if Sweden would have allowed such a tribute to remain if it had been us Swedes they had helped?!
We then headed back to the apartment where we would spend the night. Our demonstrations had been allowed to take place undisturbed and were carried out as planned. The fact that everything went so calmly and smoothly was positive – and while I personally enjoy the prospect of chasing off fleeing communists who disrupt meetings, a peaceful demonstration is obviously preferable!
Once we were at the apartment, a gift bag of Swedish food products requested by a Finnish comrade was brought out, which was very much appreciated. I was somewhat surprised that some products taken for granted as a Swede cannot be found in a country that is so close to us geographically and culturally.
After an hour or so of conversation in the apartment, it was time for a little sleep before leaving for the ferry again early the next day. On the ferry home, we all celebrated the successful day in Helsinki with a joint Christmas dinner provided by the Nordic Resistance Movement.
The dinner was appetising apart from some kind of vegan brownie, which almost turned my stomach. After dinner I was so full that I had to go to my cabin and rest for a while.
All in all, both the trip and the demonstration went smoothly, without any major disturbances. Something I personally appreciated was getting to know organisational comrades from other Nests and other countries, but also getting to make contacts with comrades outside the organisation.
I really look forward to making many more trips together with my comrades in the Resistance Movement!
– Erik Svensson