A demonstrator giving the finger against the government during the labour protest at the Railway Square in Helsinki, Finland on Friday September 18 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today
Morgan Walker contributed to this report.
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The Railway Square surged with masses of people unabated by the predicted rainfall, thunder, or flashes of lightning late on Friday morning. The rally of the labour unions was organised in response to the government’s plans to cut the benefits and wages of the employees by several hundred euros in a month. About 30,000 people booed and catcalled against the representatives of the parties in the government, for example, MP Arto Satonen (NCP), who tried to explain how necessary the cuts are.
Some demonstrators gave him the finger.
After today, if ever, the message has been heard by the prime minister Juha Sipilä, finance minister Alexander Stubb and the foreign minister Timo Soini, who unfortunately shined by their absence.
In addition to the resolve of large numbers of the public to protest in inclement weather, the widespread strikes across many occupations on Friday could suggest an uphill battle for the current budget measures.
At least that’s what the demonstrators hope.
Watch the video here:
Lauri Lyly, chair of the labor union SAK, is very disappointed in the government’s way of forcing cuts to the common worker. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today
The Left Alliance chair Paavo Arhinmäki holding a shirt that says ‘A shift worker has earned his benefits.’ Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today
Thousands of grim faces occupying the Railway Square. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Toay
Another middle finger for the government. PIcture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today
Protesters climbing higher while trying to observe what’s happening at the stage. Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today
Protesters holding banners saying ‘Even the nurses have limits.’ Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today
30,000 demonstrators chanting at the Railway Square. Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today