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(en) Media, Anarchists Demonstrate on Finland's 90th Independence Day

Date Sat, 08 Dec 2007 00:07:41 +0200

Massive police presence keeps watch over Finland’s 90th Independence Day
festivities ---- According to the Helsinki Police Department, the Independence
Day festivities went smoothly in the capital, while a group of some 100 young
demonstrators were kept away from the Presidential Palace. --- "No leaders! The
streets belong to us! Keep your palace!", shouted the black-clad marchers
heading towards the Presidential Palace, while guests to Finland’s 90th
Anniversary celebrations began to arrive at the annual Presidential Reception.
---- The blocks surrounding the Palace had been closed to traffic, while
hundreds of police officers were securing the centre of the city against
possible disturbances. In previous years, some of the party guests were hindered
from arriving at the ball.

A group of mounted policemen were stretching their legs at Helsinki’s
Kasarmintori Square, while some twenty police squad cars were keeping
watch over the Market Square, and a group of officers with white helmets
were placed on standby at the Senate Square.

A demonstration convened by some anarchist organisations set off from
Helsinki’s district of Eira towards the district of Hakaniemi, where
they were supposed to have a party. According to some protesters, the
party would offer an alternative for "dullness bought by money".

The demonstration appeared to be well organised, and the protesters were
given pieces of paper containing advice in case of trouble, such as
arrests and interviews by police.

"Take care of yourself and your friends, and do not let police arrest
them", the instructions said.

Most of the marchers were unmasked and sober, while some of the
participants were wearing Venetian-style masks, Christmas Gnome
costumes, or Santa Claus masks. The tall Father Christmas himself
appeared to be supervising the demonstration.
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