In this article we present Pauli Kaila, a Turku-based far-right activist. Kaila has been active in various Nazi organizations for over a decade and is the founder and leader of the sub-cultural Ukonvasama collective. This article was previously published in Finnish.
A Youtube video from the Sinimusta Liike, SML (“The blue-and-black Movement”, a far-right party founded last year in the spirit of the inter-war fascist organizations IKL and the Lapua movement) camp released at the end of the first week of November shows Pauli Johannes Kaila (born 1987) – a former leader of the outlawed Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) Turku group – instructing Tuukka Kuru and other far-right activists in martial arts. In recent years Kaila has again taken on a more active role in Finnish far-right circles. According to several sources, Kaila has been prominent in SML, teaching martial art skills to several far-right activists and acting as Kuru’s bodyguard at street events.
In the Autumn of 2021, Kaila and Kuru were distributing SML flyers and collecting signatures for their new fascist party to enter the official party register. Kuru has been one of the most prominent activists in the Finnish far-right during the recent years, organizing both the 188 Kukkavirta march and race theory conferences. Kaila has been more underground, but also been co-operating with various far-right groups through street activism and other events.
The latest camp organized by the SML was held at the Tuuhonen camp center in Ruovesi. It is the same place where activists from the far-right Kansallismielisten Liittouma (“Nationalist Alliance”) used pictures of left-wing politicians as targets for shooting practice, causing a nationwide uproar. The participants of the autumn camp were a motley group of far-right people: the camp troubadour was Nazi musician Joakim “Stormheit” Kuotesaho and the attendees were known members of the NRM, Suomen Sisu and their youth organizations, Varsinais-Suomen akseli and Uudenmaan akseli. But how did the old bonehead Pauli Kaila end up at this camp?
Nazi music and activism in the Nordic Resistance Movement
Pauli Kaila used to be the leader of the NRM local group in Turku before the national socialist organization was banned in Finland. He joined the NRM (at the time called Finnish Resistance Movement, FRM) as a supporting member as early as 2011 and was a prominent activist for the Nazi organization for years, until the organization’s decline began and his own mental health badly deteriorated.
At the time the first 188 Kukkavirta event was organized in Turku in 2018, Kaila was no longer marching in the ranks of the NRM, but instead participated wearing his own Ukonvasama collective shirt. Like many other leading figures in the NRM, Kaila has a close relationship with the bonehead (Nazi skinhead) movement, since he has played in the RAC band Genocide Wolves. In December 2020, the vocalist Toni Hakulinen was murdered as a result of a love triangle between NRM members that contained extremely patriarchal elements. Another NRM member, Samuli Matilainen, was sentenced to life in prison for murdering Hakulinen.
Extra-parliamentary activities, conferences and a party project
Kaila reportedly left the NRM a couple of years before the organization was abolished and after his departure the activity of the Turku local group waned. After leaving the NRM, Kaila has focused on the activities of the Ukonvasama collective, such as a blog and podcast showcasing Nazi propaganda, as well as organizing Nazi gigs, martial arts training and strongman competitions in the Turku area. The only key figures of Ukonvasama appear to be Kaila and Teemu Karhu.
In the recent years Kaila has however upheld connections and co-operated with the far-right milieu such as Suomen Sisu and the so called “ethno-nationalist” youth wing that was kicked out of the Finns party in 2020. He took part in the far-right Awakening conference on the 6th of April 2019 in Turku, as well as in smaller events, such as the Tunne juuresi (“Know your roots”) fascist discussion event on October 5th 2019 in Rauma as well as the Aamunkoitto (“Dawn”) seminar on March 7th, 2020. Through the conferences and seminars he has been in contact with Kuru and other young far-right activists. The former Finns party youth later established a youth organization of Suomen Sisu named Uudenmaan akseli, that by the time of writing this article spread to Southwest Finland as well.
Kaila and Karhu also publish Vasamaradio podcast together, where the two men discuss racial theories and occasionally the state of their mental health (mental health issues and pressure forced Kaila to quit his activities in the NRM earlier). The duo also published the Ukonvasama zine that featured concert and album reviews, propaganda and texts about fascists such as Elias Simojoki and Benito Mussolini. The University of Jyväskylä far-right reseacher Tommi Kotonen analyzed the Ukonvasama zine in his research article in the following way:
In their visual messages, the [Ukonvasama-]collective uses typical fascist icons, including figures well known from international neo-Nazi scenes such as Codreanu, Primo de Rivera, Bob Matthews or Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
Alongside these and Hitler memes, they refer to the Finnish fascist history of the 1930s regularly. Also, some nationalist leaders without any explicit connection to fascism or Nazism may appear in their canon. Through this eclecticism, they follow the style of an earlier fascist collective Musta Sydän (black heart in English), which was also a Turku-based group”(Kotonen 2018; 133)
In the recent years, Ukonvasama has organized several secret Nazi gigs in Southwest Finland. During the years 2018-2020 the collective organized a summer event called Vasaman Mahti, which in addition to neo-Nazi bands featured strongman competitions. At these events, Finnish neo-Nazis got the chance to network and practice their racist, violent and patriarchal ideology. In the summer of 2020, the Varis network exposed that Ukonvasama had rented hunting cabins for events in Laitila and Aura.
Neo-Nazis and fascists often have to organize their events in secret and lie to the owners of the places they rent, since few people want to deal with people who represent far-right ideologies. Anti-fascists in Southwestern Finland contacted the hunting clubs mentioned in the previous paragraph in both 2020 and 2021. Their chairmen of both associations expressed their disappointment and concern about their reputation suffering as a result of the Nazi events, the true nature of which came as a complete surprise to the hunting clubs. The hunting clubs in question have since investigated the bookings and stated that they will no longer be renting to Ukonvasama in the future.
Exposing Nazis affects their possibilities to organize and grow. During last year, the activity of Ukonvasama has clearly waned and has been driven underground. If there have been any events, they have not been advertised publicly and no pictures are longer published in that case. Anti-fascists can consider it a victory that Ukonvasama no longer dare to organize their events in Southwest Finland as publicly.
Personal problems and co-operation with known drug dealers
Kaila’s Nazi activism once led to his dismissal from working as a security guard and he had to quit in the NRM due to pressure and stress, which he has admitted in different Nazi podcasts and interviews. The exposure of his rented concert venues in the summer of 2020 brought additional stress to Kaila’s life. However, his attendance at the SML camp and other far-right events shows that he is still active and co-operating with his old contacts.
As a curiosity we can mentioned that even though Kaila often presents himself as an absolutist, wearing a “Hate Edge”-shirt (the neo-Nazi version of straight edge philosophy), he has been seen publicly intoxicated in Turku in recent years. Teemu Karhu, the other member of the Ukonvasama collective is also fond of drugs and an active cannabis dealer. However, the hypocrisy of Nazis is evident to anyone who in the slightest investigates their propaganda and grand self-image.
If you have information about Pauli Kaila or other Nazis in Southwestern Finland, please contact the Varis network Turku group varisturku[at]riseup.net or the editorial staff varistoimitus[at]riseup.net.