The protesters of Elokapina movement decided not to move from the busy road, so the police pulled out their OC cans.
“In October, Elokapina will take the streets of Helsinki more creatively, bolder and bigger than ever!” the website of the rebellious group of climate protesters reveals.
Today, on the sunny Saturday afternoon in the center of Helsinki, a few dozen people who participated in the climate protest by the Elokapina movement, sat in the middle of Kaisaniemenkatu to stop the traffic.
Some had chained themselves together. They had even carried a small jolly boat on the street and apparently some had chained themselves to the boat.
The police arrived at the scene. They asked repeatedly for them to move. The protesters stayed put.
After using chain cutters, the mask-wearing police officers removed some of the protesters but many stayed in place legs crossed as if they were meditating. This was revealed by a video filmed by the protesters.
Several hours later after the protest had started the Helsinki Police Department said on Twitter that “the police had to disperse the crowd by using force, by using pepper spray.”
The video filmed by the protesters revealed footage of the scene where the police repeatedly pepper-sprayed the protesters who just wouldn’t move.
In another Twitter update, the police said they had to refer to force because the protest was causing “significant disturbance to the traffic” and that it “was the mildest possible way to disperse the crowd.”
Later, in another Twitter update, the police told to have opened the street and that the traffic had returned to normal. “The protest continues on the sidewalks and in the Kaisaniemi park,” the law enforcement noted.
The video showed the police carrying away protesters who were coughing.
When Finland Today arrived at the scene around 17: 40 some protesters were still standing on the streets and some still held banners that demanded action to stop global warming.
The core message of the Elokapina movement, which is part of a global movement called the “Extinction Rebellion,” is that the government should declare a climate emergency. (The group already has.) They demand regular updates on how the Finnish government is attempting to solve the climate crisis.
Finally, around six o’clock in the evening, the biggest banner, which was hanging on a stone wall in the corner of Unioninkatu and said “On behalf of life. Against apathy!” was taken down, and the trams were moving and the cars were honking.