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Police officers were deployed to patrol the streets of Helsinki on Wednesday, 6 December, to ensure tensions between several groups of demonstrators did not escalate into clashes.
Police officers were deployed to patrol the streets of Helsinki on Wednesday, 6 December, to ensure tensions between several groups of demonstrators did not escalate into clashes.

 

Police made nearly a dozen arrests on what was unsurprisingly a busier-than-usual Independence Day in Helsinki on Wednesday.

Helsinki Police Department reveals in a press release that the day was relatively peaceful despite the large crowds participating in the several protests, counter-protests and festivities organised in the city to commemorate centenary of the independence of Finland.

“Independence Day in the city […] was on the whole peaceful and went according to plan from a policing viewpoint,” says Heikki Kopperoinen, the Deputy Chief of Police at the Helsinki Police Department.

Police officers ultimately took a total of ten people into custody in connection with the protests, mostly for attempting to disturb the protesters. Two people, for example, were caught throwing eggs at a protest march that began at the Töölö Market Square, while another was caught in possession of pepper spray in Töölö, central Helsinki.

“Police had a low threshold to interfere in all types of disturbances in order to prevent any clashes from taking place. Police did not have to resort to coercive measures in connection with the protests,” tells Kopperoinen.

Tens of thousands of people were present as the festivities culminated in a fireworks display in Helsinki, according to the Helsinki Police Department.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva