Kurdish leaders of predominantly Marxist demonstrators couldn’t control themselves, melee ensues…
I was in the area of Kamppi just after being interviewed by Jan Sjunnesson from Swebbtv.se an hour earlier. I got word of the demonstration the day before from an email alert from the US embassy which warned US citizens to stay away from the area. The alert didn’t state what the nature of the demonstration would be, but I could guess and I couldn’t stay away.
Here is state broadcaster YLE’s report on the incident with my observations after it.
Police in Helsinki, Finland report using force at a demonstration against the Turkish incursion into Syria on Saturday. In a tweet issued at around 4 pm, Helsinki Police said that “some of the protesters did not follow police instructions. […] We were forced to intervene by preventing the organizers’ vehicle from joining the march, which took place on foot.”
An earlier tweet from the force reported that officers were being resisted in the Narinkkatori square, the starting location of the protest in front of the Kamppi shopping complex. “Police were compelled to use force,” the tweet said.
Demonstrations gathered in the Finnish cities of Helsinki, Turku and Tampere on Saturday to oppose Turkish actions and the war in Syria, according to a bulletin from the Rojavan Puolesta group promoting solidarity with Syria’s Rojava region. Several people on the group’s Twitter site commented that the police were carrying tasers.
Law enforcement estimates that about 300 people participated in the protest in Helsinki. A march departed from the Narinkkatori square and walked the city centre area, causing traffic disruptions, before ending at Kansalaistori (Citizens’ Square).
In Turku, some 200 people made a similar march through the city. Local police report that the demonstration proceeded without incident.
It was plain to see that the main organizers of the Kurdish event In Helsinki’s Kamppi shopping mall area (Narinkka Square) were the PKK, a communist terrorist organization. There is no doubt about it, Kurdish security staff were sporting yellow vests supporting the release of the convicted terrorist, Abdullah Öcalan.
I began taking photos of the 300 or so demonstrators while I walked around them.
It’s quite clear that Antifa was there in support of their fellow Marxists.
All the flags with stars are Marxist symbols.
Another Antifa fascist with a sign above his head that read: ‘Girls Hate Capitalism’.
Lots of Marxist ethnic Finns standing with Kurdish PKK flags and banners.
Of course, what would a Marxist run show be without a flag of Che Guevarra?
The event began at 3PM, I arrived around 4 after seeing Jan off to his ship (who observed a Kurdish march as well). After walking around for about a half an hour, the seemingly peaceful crowd of mostly Marxists began to form up for their planned walk down Mannerheimkatu which would take them south until they hit Esplanadi street which runs towards the main harbor.
The organizers decided that they wanted to include their minivan laden with banners (and a speaker system I assume) to head the protest march. The entire time I was there they kept shouting in unison pretty much the same mantra, Erdogan is a terrorist (which I agree with btw).
The above picture that I took was just prior to all hell breaking loose. One of the guys holding the big flag had no idea why they were being held up, they were supposed to begin their march already. As I swung around with my camera I noticed helmeted police replacing the soft hat police who were interacting with organizers and supporters/demonstrators up until that time.
Here’s the video footage of what took place, the violence takes place around the 1:40 minute mark:
On Twitter, there were Kurds deploring the response by the police, to which I responded (while sitting on a train headed home):
(To Anter’s credit, he put a like to my explanation)
Those are the facts. The helmeted police, their dogs and the mounted police were all a distance away from the crowd. The police responded with force only after the organizers refused to obey the police, insisting that their minivan would lead the march. They ended up smashing the window of the minivan to keep the driver from exiting the square and dragged him out. The man continued to resist, knocking over a police officer to the ground, then was tasered as the video clearly shows. Then, and only then did the police bring out the two dogs, and the mounted police to drive back the crowd. The same mounted police lead the rally after they all calmed down. IMHO, they’re lucky the police didn’t call off the march.
That is what happened, and anything to the contrary of what I saw, is pure nonsense.