Four people were taken into custody as ultra-nationalist protesters and anti-fascist counter-protesters faced off in Tampere on Saturday, according to the Central Finland Police Department.
Two of the protesters in custody are suspected of criminal offences – one of assault and the other of imperilment – while the remaining two were taken into custody as a precautionary measure on grounds of the police act.
The nationalist protest was organised at Laukontori Square by the Nordic Resistance Movement, while the counter-protesters convened at Keskustori Square. The two groups of protesters eventually clashed at several locations in downtown Tampere.
The Central Finland Police Department reveals in a press release that the counter-protesters sought to attack those taking part in the ultra-nationalist protest at, for example, the Hämeensilta Bridge and Satakunnansilta Bridge, and threw sound bombs at both the right-wing protesters and police officers.
No one is believed to have been injured by the sound bombs.
Police officers had to consequently step in between the protesters, according to Harri Nojonen, a superintendent at the Central Finland Police Department. The protests also forced police officers to cut off traffic at several points in the city and caused temporary disruptions to rail services bound for Pori and Seinäjoki.
“The police do not tolerate rioting. The events up until now will be investigated as a violent riot,” a spokesperson for the police department announced on Twitter on Saturday.
Roughly 2–300 people took part in the ultra-nationalist protest and 3–400 people in the counter-protest, a police spokesperson estimated according to Helsingin Sanomat. Most participants in both of the protests had vacated the downtown area by 4pm on Saturday.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi