by Pre Kaarina
In 2007 Helsinki Pride procession Pink Black Block activists tore down the banner of ultraconservative Christians. Next year, Pink Black Block threatened with violence. However, Christian demonstrators were nowhere to be seen. The police had ordered them to stay clear of Kaivopuisto Park, where the procession ended. However, they harassed some participants of the Pride outside the park.
Although this arrangement was a great convenience for both of us, it was an infringement on the constitutional freedom of speech.
Later, in December there was to be arranged a Pink Lucia Procession to challenge the heterosexist and cissexist St Lucia celebration in Helsinki. The police told me in no uncertain terms to stay clear from the procession. I was holding the rainbow flag at the moment. We pulled it through, though, even though the police interference probably diminished our ranks remarkably. We had male St Lucias as a homosexual couple and I was holding the rainbow flag. The security ordered us to stay clear from the official St Lucia, but we got our point across in the full view of 20000-30000 people. The media, however, kept the whole issue under wraps and we were not shown in the national television even though all television channels were present and we were not in any newspapers.
Police infringed with our freedom of speech here.
I see that there is a police-enforced silent agreement of the queers not demonstrating in religious occasions and vice versa. As said, that might be convenient, but that is inhibiting real, potentially violent dialogue. It is like members of the family not talking with each other.
The police itself is not conversational. According to police, there is no homophobic violence in Finland, which is a blatant refusal to record it. The police does not see necessary for the queers in the police force to attend meetings of queer policemen in other countries. There seems to be a don’t ask, don’t tell-policy within the police force.
Also Heseta, the NGO-organization for sexual and gender minorities in Helsinki is not conversational, using police instead of discussion. The Pink Black Block threat with violence was hailed by a threat to contact the police by Heseta. Police has been a frequent visitor since Heseta’s funds were embezzled.
It seems that the only way to have a discussion in Finland is by threats and calling the police. This reminds me of the Czarist times where the public discussion was conducted by assassinating aristocrats who in turn executed innocent demonstrators.
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