Finland: Temporarily banned neo-Nazi group Nordic Resistance Movement announces demonstration for Independence Day

Nordic Resistance Movement carried swastika flags in their nazi demonstration on Finnish Independence Day 6th of December 2018.

The Nazi organization Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) which was in the March of 2019 temporarily banned by the Finnish Supreme Court has said on their website that they will be organizing a national socialist demonstration on the Finnish Independence Day on the 6th of December as they have now done for three years in a row. NRM writes on their website “Towards Freedom” that “the national socialist demonstration which has become an Independence Day tradition is coming again.”

In 2018 the NRM demonstration was stopped in its very beginning by the police and four nazis including the NRM leader Antti Niemi and one Swedish neo-Nazi were arrested for carrying swastika flags. Nazis have every year continued from the NRM demonstration to the joint demonstration by the entire Finnish far-right, the “612 torch parade” which NRM was part of founding together with members of the The Finns Party active in the fascist organization Suomen Sisu.

The banning process of NRM which started in 2017 is still ongoing, but the organization was temporarily banned from any operation in the March of 2019. After this NRM has started to use public names Kohti Vapautta (“Towards Freedom”) and Suomalaisapu (“Finn Aid”). They quietly gave up their political party project Kansan yhtenäisyys (“People’s Unity) after its failure.

Screenshot: Nordic Resistance Movement has tried to hide their connections to their projects Towards Freedom and Finn Aid. Regardless the Nazis can’t restrain themselves from advertising these project also on the NRM’s old National Resistance website.

Police has however seemingly started an investigation in May 2019 on whether NRM is continuing their activities regardless of the ban on operation. Even a quick glance at the sites of Towards Freedom and Finn Aid clarifies that it is the exact same nazis doing the same thing under a different name.

Screenshot from the “Towards Freedom” site of the NRM. The “new” webpage complete with the “action reports” is exactly the same as the old NRM website, just with less content. The nazis are also reporting that an old NRM active Petri Nordman has also been speaking in an action organized under the name of Towards Freedom in the summer of 2019.

It’s been clear for those who are keeping an eye on the far-right that the 612 demonstration on the Independence Day is gathering together all of the Finnish far-right from the nazis of the NRM to the Finns Party. This co-operation between different far-right groups has continued in several other events outside the Independence Day, such as joint summer camps and the 188 demonstrations in Turku.

In the 612 march of 2014 the security of the demonstration was taken care of by the NRM. On the left in the picture there is Jesse Torniainen, who killed Jimi Karttunen during a NRM street event in 2016 and on the right, as well as in the upper screenshot there is Petri Nordman who’s been visible in the activities of Towards Freedom, along with other neo-Nazis.
On the Independence Day 2016 following the killing of Jimi Karttunen the killer Jesse Torniainen was marching in front of the demonstration wearing a scarf with the NRM logo. Suomen Sisu members involved in the organizing of the march are hanging out close to Torniainen, such as Timo Hännikäinen (brown jacket) and Jarkko Pesonen (to the left of Hännikäinen). PIC: Eero Mäntymaa, YLE.

Based on last year it can be expected that the police is going to let the nazis march again despite any bans. It’s also just as clear that the NRM nazis will keep participating in the 612 demonstration together with the Finns Party if more pressure is not put to the far right.

We are encouraging every enemy of racism and nazism to mark down the 6th of December in their calendars and get ready to stand against nazism. Let’s show in Helsinki, on 6th of December 2019 much like last year, that we are more!

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