Soldiers of Odin, one of the organisations at the heart of the ongoing debate over civilian street patrols, has denied all racism allegations despite previously describing itself as “an organisation fighting for white Finland”.
“Soldiers of Odin is not: a racist organisation, a National Socialist movement, a drug ring, a motorcycle club, a criminal organisation,” the originally Kemi-based organisation writes on Facebook.
The organisation admits, however, that its founder espouses a National Socialist ideology and that some of its members have a criminal record.
“It is true that the founder of the club is a National Socialist in terms of his ideology. His writings do not speak for the organisation. Every individual has the right to write whatever they want and espouse whatever ideology they want,” the organisation argues.
- Stubb: Government to look into prohibiting racist street patrols (14 January, 2016)
- Tynkkynen: Street patrols a welcome development (12 January, 2016)
- Orpo: Street patrols are associated with features that don't promote public safety (06 January, 2016)
- Police Commissioner: Vigilante patrols have no additional rights (06 January, 2016)
“It is also true that the club includes people with criminal records. A criminal record is something none of us can change, a part of the past. We can have a great effect on the future,” it adds.
Carl Haglund, the chairperson of the Swedish People's Party, and Ville Niinistö, the chairperson of the Green League, urged Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) to explicitly denounce all racist street patrols, such as Soldiers of Odin, in a joint statement published on Wednesday.
Sipilä later declared to members of the media that there is no need for civilian street patrols in Finland.
Soldiers of Odin currently describes itself as “an immigration-critical, yet safety-oriented, club with an interest in street patrolling” and “as the eyes and ears of the police”.
“We do not want to provoke anyone, but we want to make sure people are aware of us by being visible. We will help anyone, regardless of their ethnic background,” it writes. “The club members can defend themselves if necessary, as is appropriate.”
Soldiers of Odin also reminds that it can exercise the general right of apprehension, similarly to anyone else in Finland.
MTV Uutiset was the first news outlet to report about the announcement by Soldiers of Odin.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Minna Raitavuo / Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi