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(en) FINNISH UPDATE by Muutoksen kevät

From Antti Rautiainen <antti.rautiainen@kolumbus.fi>
Date Mon, 5 Mar 2001 13:48:50 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E


Muutoksen kevät
P. O. Box 847
33101 Tampere Finland

As you can see from the summary, Muutoksen kevat had just its fifth
birthday. Thank you very much for your help and friendship. I hope we'll
have many more fruitful and active years together.


Ville Lahde



Muutoksen kevat-magazine

The Dutch biotechnology company Pharming B.V. has begun its operations in
Finland during the last few years. It received permits for research and
experiments in 1996 and 1997 and has acted very closely with the university
of Kuopio, which is notorious for its breeding facility for beagles used for
vivisection, plus some serious scientific malpractices during previous
years. Pharming's activity centers on producing in the milk of GM-cows. It
should be noted that these techniques were banned by the Dutch minister of
agriculture in 1998.

The hatching anti-GM movement in Finland brought the experiments to public
attention in January 2001, when the group "Kansalaisten bioturvayhdistys"
(The People's Biosafety Association) nailed shut the door of the company
facilities under the slogan "No home for (P)harming!". Television cameras
hovered on the scene. The facility in question was an experimental farm for
70 transgenic cows. The cows were "invented" by FinnGene Ltd. That was
founded at the university an later bought by Pharming.

Bioturva also organised a public panel on the gm-cows in Iisalmi, which
attracted 100 people, including many of the farmers who are working with the
project. The representatives of Pharming, the university, and Finnish
Bioindustry society were invited but never showed up. The panel found out
that the company no stage informed the investors or the public about the
risks involved or about the Dutch decision. Also it is unclear whether the
company will restict to producing medicines (lactoferrine), or will it also
try to market food additives produced by gene manipulation.

Information: www.bioturva.org - includes articles in English 


Anti-fur farming campaign continues in Finland

Muutoksen kevat-magazine

The campaign to ban fur farming in Finland has been revitalised during the
last year, and has now launched two energetic campaigns. First of them is a
demonstration campaign to shut down the farm of Markku Kuisma, the farmer
who shot at five ALF-activists in December 1998. The other campaign has
targeted the textile company Marimekko which last year bought a fur company.

The Kuisma campaign

The latest demonstrations were held at Kuisma?s farm in Orimattila 2nd of
December and 3rd of February. The December demonstration was a longer
nighttime candle vigil. During the vigil one of the activists phoned the
tired farmer, and they discussed a long time about fur farming. Actually
these discussions have been going on a long time, and at some times Kuisma
has actually expressed his wishes to stop farming, at another times he has
declared plans to expand. The February demonstration was based on these
discussions. Kuisma is a metal worker and he has complained to the activists
about the poor job situation. At the farm a "delegation" handed Kuisma a
list of vacant jobs in the Orimattila and Lahti area. This gesture attracted
wide media attention and may actually have improved the image of the
movement at large, which for the last few years has been very poor.

The demonstrators spent a shivering hour at the farm in -25 Celsius
temperature, and after that they headed for the second farm in the area. The
police tried to stop the demonstration, but they could not show any legal
basis for it. In the end most of the people just walked around the roadblock
and crossed the fields surrounding the farm.

Targetting Kuisma and his farm is a clear decision by the people involved.
Shutting down this particlar farm would be a great symbolic victory and a
blow to the morale of the industry. After the attempted killing of five
"terrorists" Kuisma became a heroic figure for the farmers, and he even run
for the Parliament. Shattering this image would be very important.

The Marimekko campaign

The campaign to boycott the company Marimekko started in last August, when
the company bought the Grunstein Product company that manufactures fur and
leather products. In just a few months the campaign has had amazing results.
It is actually the first time in Finland that the animal rights Movement has
shown such abilities for coordinated action and media sensitivity.

The campaign nearly succeeded in its first weeks, when the director of
Marimekko, Kirsti Paakkanen, spoke against fur farming in public. She
however took bac her words a few days later, assumingly because of company
presure. Marimekko went ahead with integrating fur in its company image.

The next big step was when Aki Kaurismaki, an internationally acclaimed
movie director (see "I hired a Contract Killer" for example), delined an
honorary doctoral title. He based this on his views on animal rights. Kirsti
Paakkanen had been given the same title, and he would not stand together in
the podium with a second-hand fur farmer. This attracted wide attention and
discussion, including Kaurismaki's personal "manifesto" on animal rights an
against fur farming in the largest national newsaper Helsingin sanomat.

In November the association Oikeutta elaimille (Justice/Rights for animals)
organised demonstrations in Marimekko shops in three largest cities in
Finland. Oikeutta elaimille calls for support of its international
colleagues, as Marimekko exports a lot of its products. A week later
activists stormed Marimekko?s 50th anniversary gala in Helsinki. They had
bought over a hundred tickets for the show, and even strictest security
couldn't keep them out. During Paakkanen's speech a banner was lowered from
the audience seats, leaflets were thrown all around, and slogans and
foghorns swamped the speech. Seemingly shocked Paakkanen ended it prematurely.

In December two activists chained themselves to the foor of a Marimekko shop
in Helsinki. Similar actions have been organised also this year. Thousands
of leaflets have been handed out and petitions filled with names. The
campaign seems to be working, as at the end of January Paakkanen declared
publicly that the Grunstein sale was a clear error that would be remedied
quickly. At the same press conference Paakkanen clashed with other members
of the company. However, a few days later Marimekko derlared that it would
not sell Grunstein. 

Please participate in this campaign. If we succeed, it will be the first
major victory ever for the Finnish animal rights movement. Details of the
campaign and a chance to give some feedback to the company you can find in
the following site:



Anti-Nuclear campaign kicked off in Finland

Muutoksen kevat magazine

Finland is one of the few industrial countries that still seriously
considers expanding the production of nuclear energy. There are four
reactors here, and the construction of the fifth has been repeatedly
proposed by the energy and heavy process indutries. The last struggle took
place in the beginning of the 90's, and vigorous civil camapigns managed to
turn the tide of the public opinion, win the heavy lobbying of the
industires (such as cash "incentives" to MPs) and halt the project. The
parliament voted no for the construction permit. But it seems that for the
industries no doesn't mean no. The nuclear debate has started all over
again, and this time the industry is aided by the one-dimensional climate
change debate. They have succesfully painted a green image for the
"non-polluting" nuclear power, and the anti-nuclear movement has a grest
challenge waiting.

In December the first big demonstration was orgainsed in Helsinki in front
of the Senate building, The demonstration addressed also the present
decision-making process on "final" waste management. (Photos can be found at
the Finnish branch of the IMC:
http://www.kulma.net/vaikuttava/kuvat.php?c=nayta&id=172) The demonstration
was a huge success, as about 1000 people showed up instead of the expected
500. The next demonstration is planned for October on the Tchernobyl
memorial day.

The demonstrators called for support for alternative forms of energy, energy
saving and a new formation of the energy discussion. Instead of opposing
nuclear and fossil fuels we should talk about renewability. Also the image
of "carbon-free" nuclear energy was put to question, and attention was
called to the effects of the whole nuclear fuel chain.

The supporters of nuclear energy added a comic aspect to the occasion. A
laughably small right-wing group "Nuclear kids" actually increased the
enthusiasm of the anti-nuclear demonstrators.

The demonstration was important in the sense that it marked the kick-off for
new anti-nuclear campaigns. We have still time to turn the tide.

Some info on Finnish energy debate you can find in the following site:

Illegal Direct Action in Finland

YEAR 2000

Actions during the whole year:

Fur stores, wholesalers etc.	25
Fur farms	13
Highway construction:	1
Hunting:	1
MuckDonalds:	8
Transnational oil companies:	4
Other:	5

Tohether:	57
(Thus starting from 1993, there have been 850 - 900 reported hits. The real
figure should be around 1000.There have been 54 fur farm raids, plus 2 fur
processors have been torched.)


Lohja - Fur store window broken


Turku - National Front office windows stoned
Lohja - 3 windows broken from a Shell station
Helsinki - The display window and door window of a fur store were broken 4
times during one week


Lohja - A fur store window and a MuckDonalds window were broksen
? - The ELF broke windows at an office of an infamous paper company UPM.
Also several MuckDonalds ads were trashed.


Turku - At a MuckDonalds locks were glued, the order microphone and windows
were broken and the place was sloganised.
Tampere - A furrier's windows were broken


Turku - (During summer) "Dozens of subversive slogans painted. Property of
MuckDonalds was destroyed several times. Stations of Shell and Esso were
sloganised, and property destroyed."
Helsinki - The windows of a fur store were broken 2 times.
Tampere - A furrier's windows were broken 3 times-


Joensuu - 2 windows of a fur store were broken
Lohja - The windows of a fur store were broken
Helsinki - A slogan was painted on the back door of a fur store and the lock
was glued.


Teuva - Kauppilankyla, fur farm: All of the minks at the farm (about 1000)
were released. The breeding records of about 200 foxes were destroyed.
According to the media, about 400 mink were catched, and hunters killed 200.
Kullaa - Leineperi, fur farm: 900 minks were released. It seems that half of
them got away. The farm has been raided before.
Lohja - A window of a fur store was broken.
Helsinki - 4 windows of a MuckDonalds were broken. ELF
Vihti - A hunting platform was destroyed and sand was pured into the tank of
a road construction machine.
Helsinki - A window of a fur store was broken.
Alaharma - All breeding record cards were taken from a fox fur farm.


Jyvaskyla - A window of a fur store was broken.
Helsinki - A display window and a door window of a fur store was broken.
Alaharma - At a fur farm 150 - 200 foxes were dyed with harmless henna.
According to the claim the farm hadn't filled the requirements of the
Taipalsaari - 500 -600 mink were released from a fur farm, thus one of the 4
huts was emptied. In a second raid within days, 2000 mink were released!


Alajarvi - 700 - 800 foxes were dyed with henna at a fur farm. Breeding
records were destroyed and equipment trashed. According to the media the
damages amounted to 400 000 FIM.
Ekola - A fur farm raid, not any information.
Iisalmi - Jotsenjoki, fur farm: 2000 foxes were dyed with henna. The cages
were opened and breeding records stolen. According to the media some
equipment was damaged. The activists released a video of the raid. (SEE:
www.oikeuttaelaimille.net/iisalmi FOR THE VIDEO and stills!)
Karstula - According to the media 2000 foxes were dyed at a fur farm. The
cages were opened and breeding records stolen. Damages amounted to hundreds
of thousands of FIM. This an the previous raid were the largest dye raid
ever in the world.
Helsinki - A fur store was hit three times: During the first time a display
window was broken. Then the door window and the temporary patching of the
display window. "We won't give up" was painted on the wall. In the third hit
the door window was broken.
Nurmes - The EVR slashed 17 plastic-covered fodder packages, thus ruining
the fodder. In a letter the cell "asked" the farmer to let his cows out in
the fields during the summer.
Valtimo - 100 fodder packages slashed.
Helsinki - At the Ringroad II the group "Roadrunners" designed gigantic
footprints on the asphalt during the night before the grand opening.
Lohka - 4 big windows were broken at a Shell station.


Yliharma - A minor raid at a fur farm, no damages.
Helsinki - A window of a fur store was broken
Lohja - A window was broken from a fur store and a MuckDonalds.


Alaharma - Hundreds of foxes were dyed at a fur farm. The coppers tried too
keep this one under wraps but the information leaked.
Iisalmi - The fur farm that was raided in October was raided again. This
time a storage building was torched. The raid took out brand new fodder and
skinning machinery plus 400 furs. Damages were about 800 000 FIM
Lohja - Two windows of a fur store were broken. Three windows of a
MuckDonalds were broken.

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