End the Silence!, a protest against racism and fascism, drew more than 10,000 people to downtown Helsinki on Sunday, 3 September 2023. The demonstration was organised to urge lawmakers to move from words to policy action in the fight against racism. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)


AROUND 11,000 PEOPLE expressed their opposition to racism at a demonstration held in downtown Helsinki on Sunday, according to a joint estimate by police and the organisers.

End the Silence!, the organiser of the demonstration, stated in a press release that the demonstration is an attempt to prompt the government and parliament to move from words to action in the fight against racism.

The government, it underscored, must not only reject racism but also implement policies that weed out racism.

After gathering at the Senate Square, the demonstrators moved along Aleksanterinkatu and Mannerheimintie to Töölönlahti Bay, where they were treated to speeches and live music during the afternoon and early evening, reported Helsingin Sanomat. The programme ended at 7pm, with the last few thousand attendees leaving behind to dance and clean up the site at the request of the organisers.

Helsinki Police Department on Sunday reported that no disturbances occurred during the demonstration.

“This has gone very well and peacefully from a police viewpoint. We haven’t had counter-protests, altercations or disturbances,” a spokesperson from the command centre of Helsinki Police Department told Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday.

Over a hundred organisations and stakeholders had expressed their support for the demonstration, according to End the Silence!

Aleksi Teivainen – HT