Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Helsinki to see many demos ahead of Trump-Putin meet

12 Jul 2018, 22:51 ( 4 days ago) | updated: 12 Jul 2018, 22:52 ( 4 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
File Photo Helsinki Police.

At least 10 demonstrations with various volumes and aims are scheduled in Helsinki before and during the meeting of U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

Based on advance information, the largest demonstration is to be "Helsinki Calling" which defends "human rights, freedom of speech and democracy". Ten thousand participants are estimated to march from Kaisaniemi Park near the central railway station to Senate Square near the Presidential Palace.

The demonstration was originally scheduled to be arranged on Monday when the meeting is on, but the organizers rescheduled it to Sunday.

Abdrirahim Hussein, one of the organizers of Helsinki Calling, underlined to national broadcaster, Yle the event is politically unaffiliated, although he himself is a social democratic member of the Helsinki City Council. He said the demonstration is not directed specifically against either Putin or Trump.

The youth organization of the Finns Party is arranging a demonstration on Sunday welcoming the U.S. president. Vicechairman Liina Isto told Yle that they want to show support to Trump specifically as "the U.S. immigration policies are appreciated in their organization".

Young Conservatives, associated with the National Coalition Party, will be demonstrating on Monday. They criticize the U.S. trade policies and recent decisions on tariffs, as well as the Russian presence in Crimea.

Henrik Vuornos, chairman of Young Conservatives, told Yle they are also concerned with the labeling of Finland "as a neutral country" on account of the meeting. Interviewed on Yle, he underlined that Finland is "part of the EU and has also made its security policy choices".

A demonstration against U.S. policies of "stripping women of their reproductive rights" is scheduled for Monday. The organizers said on Thursday there will be a "street performances of 20 pregnant Trumps and 20 gagged women".

On Monday there will be at least an Amnesty demonstration to underline human rights, a demonstration against anti-Russian sentiments in Finland, demonstrations directed against "the policies of Trump" and "the policies of Putin", a demonstration on behalf of Afghanistan and one for Southern Kameron.

In Finnish legislation, the minimum notification time to the police before a demonstration is six hours. It means it is possible that more demonstrations would be announced as late as Monday Morning. The police can decide whether a site requested is appropriate and can change the locations.

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