Elokapina climate activists blocking the traffic at Mannerheimintie in Helsinki on September 29, 2021. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today / Click to view gallery


It was supposed to last ten days.

But it was over in an hour and a half.

A week ago, Elokapina climate activists noted in a statement that they would stay on Mannerheimintie, in front of the Parliament Building, at the busiest road downtown, for 10 days, or until the government would declare a climate emergency.

Soon after the police released a statement where they said that they are not going to allow it.

“The police have negotiated with the organizer of the protest and directed the protesters to the Citizens’ Square but the protesters haven’t cooperated,” said Heikki Porola, chief inspector at the Helsinki Police Department.

The police added that they could interfere should the protest jeopardize public safety or disturb the traffic.

A few hundred people interested in the cause approached the scene at 18:00 on Wednesday evening, but about a hundred stayed at the center of the road, and only some were carrying tents.

The police gave orders to move, but many just sat on the road in a circle.

Two buses arrived just after 19:00. Soon after the police began carrying protesters from the road to the buses.

At 20:00, the police tweeted that they had caught 76 people.

Later in the evening, the police released a statement where they said that they had caught at total of 141 people.

The traffic at Mannerheimintie returned to normal at 21:35.