Finland: Independence day marked by anarchist inspired riot

Finnish Independence Day 6th of December was again celebrated by a big ball that is usually held in Presidential Palace in Helsinki. However, because of renovations of the Palace, the celebrations moved this year to Tampere. The counter event Kiakkovierasjuhlat (Hockey Guest Party) was a word play of the original Kuokkavierasjuhlat (Uninvited Guest Party) that was held several times in Helsinki a decade ago. Hockey theme came from the Tampere as a major hockey city and also it was to represent Ice Hockey as a working class sport opposed to the pompous gala in the very bourgeois monument in the city (Tampere House – the venue for the presidential celebrations).

Hockey Guests ended up trashing the image of “national unity”. Just a week or so ago there was announcements of some major austerity measures. The discussion of riots, consequences of austerity policies etc. have been dominating the news since.

Although on a Global, European or even a Nordic scale this was hardly even a riot, in Finnish scale this was a major one.

Maybe more about it later. Now just a video:

The video ends where the actual demonstration ends. However, after the anarchist organizers announced quits, someone shouted “fuck it! let’s go back!” and about 200 people – many of them quite drunk, it was a Friday night – came spontaneously back to the Tampere House where there was some new rioting, more tear gas and police horses and in the end 28 participants, most of them very drunk, got arrested. Several cops were injured, two ended up having a sick leave. Last two of the arrested were released on Sunday.

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