Monday, December 08, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Yesterday was Finland's Day of Independence. In 2018 the nation will have been independent for 200 years.
In Norway the Constitution Day is in the summer, so they celebrate  dressing up in their beautifully embroidered national  costumes and school children parade past the Royal Palace while the royals stand  in the balcony for a couple of hours.
In Finland the day fall on a cold winter. Therefore there are no parades, the custom for decades has been that the nation's president gives a big party in the "President's Palace".The diplomatic corps is there of course and people who have accomplished something special, the youngest this year was only 18 and she had collected lots of money for some charity. There are politicians, artists, writers, musicians, former living presidents, all kinds of well-known people. The party is shown on the TV, it ,especially how people are dressed, is discussed in the newspapers.
There have always lately been protests, tiny demonstrations but this time it was more publicized, more people collected, some called them anarchists, lots of them wore masks. The police met them in force, they were searched coming from the metro,  even for knives.  Just in case, there were other police in whole riot gear, and it was needed, there were people who broke shop and other windows, vandalised cars,  messed up a whole metro carriage, scribbled on walls,  doors and windows. In the end  they closed them in from both sides on a street. and kept them there, letting people slowly go after searching them. The first estimation of damages was 100 000 euros.
On Saturday evening also a group (how many?) of youths attacked police in Stockholm, Sweden. At first they threw stones, then Molotov's coctails and burned at least six cars.
Finnish Iltasanomat mentions the Swedish  occasion but in the Norwegian VG I did not find any mention of the Finnish incident, maybe it was hidden somewhere.
Below you can see some people  in action. Even people taking part in the demonstration, which was to make people take heed of the plight of the poor and jobless,  did not see any point in the vandalism.

Photo: Iltasanomat
Poliisin arvion mukaan mellakat aiheuttivat 100 000 euron vahingot.

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