There was an energetic antiracist demonstration yesterday in Helsinki. It was triggered by comments that Member of Parliament Olli Immonen had made in Facebook a few days earlier. Many people, including myself, considered these comments by a high-profile Finns Party member disgustingly racist.
Especially for the standards of the Finnish protest culture, the demonstration was mostly deemed a great success. Sure, there were some minor contradictions.
Today another Finns Party Member of Parliament, Jani Mäkelä, decided to question yesterday’s demonstration. So he asked in Twitter how the demonstration was able to get permits from the authorities so fast. Smart. Except that the Finnish constitution happens to be quite clear: no permit is needed for demonstrations.
We have been having an exchange of tweets around this question (some in English, some in Finnish). In case you want to see how a lawmaker thinks it is an issue of “mere semantics”, check it out.
It is obviously sad to find a lawmaker who does not seem to understand the most basic rights in Finnish laws. It is also slightly tragicomical if the lawmaker represents a party whose key agenda is based on asking migrants to adjust to Finnish rules.