While traditional May Day marches and protests are banned due to the coronavirus restrictions, this parade of about 80 trucks from across the country arrived in front of the Parliament Building on Friday morning in a police escort.

A woman is happy to see so many trucks making noise for the peat industry in Helsinki on April 30, 2021. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

The truck drivers were frustrated. They were peat producers ready to deliver their bitter greetings to the Parliament.

Trucks crowding Mannerheimintie. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

The Parliament Building was mostly empty, many MPs home sipping their first glasses of mead, but Mika Lintilä, the minister of economic affairs (Centre), stood in his dark suit and a jacket in bright sunshine while angry peat producers shouted: “That’s not enough!”

Mika Lintilä, the minister of economic affairs, listens carefully. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

The government in its mid-term policy review decided to support the peat industry by €70 million, but at the same time, the government is planning to halve the energy use of peat by 2030.

Enjoying the morning at the lawn in front of the Parliament Building. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

“Energy peat is produced specifically in Southern Ostrobothnia, and there are many full-time peat entrepreneurs whose livelihood depends on the continuation of production,” Marko Nummijärvi, chairman of the peat and energy division of the Southern Ostrobothnia, said in an interview earlier.

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The text on the truck advertises a citizens’ initiative, which demands that peat should be classified as a renewable natural resource. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today