Solidarity from Helsinki, Finland

Expression of solidarity in Helsinki – obscenity of these charges just demands a counterreaction
11th of August at 3.30 PM local time 11 persons gathered in front of the United States Embassy in Helsinki, Finland to show their solidarity to Luke O’Donovan concerning his upcoming trial and to express their concerns over the rising trend of politically tinted homophobic traits and strongly anti-gay legislative amendments seen not only in the States, but in several European countries. The main message was simple: self-defence in a situation that demands it is everybody’s right – and even more so in a world wich political reality may cause individuals belonging to different minorities to face the threat of violence more often than before.

General mood during the protest was calm. Security personnel of the US Embassy played their part politely, taking the offered leaflets with promises to pass them on to the embassador Bruce J. Oreck  himself and briefly mentioning how ”someone” might later come out to talk with the protestors.

Soon enough representatives of local police department arrived and played their general role, too, ordering the demonstrators to move further away from the Embassy and show their solidarity in a corner distant enough so it would not be seen or heard from the building itself. After a quarter of an hour of uniformed chest-beating and orders for the protesters to stop disturbing the traffic by standing at the road side the police were interrupted by the security staff of the British Embassy at the opposite site of the street with a polite request to remove their patrol car from blocking the Embassy’s gate and preventing the incoming cars from entering.

After an hour of chanting slogans, engaging into dialogues with the US Embassy staff and eating lollipops the participants collected their banderols.

Ears will still be turned towards the direction Atlanta – many bad things are taking place out there, but one of the most important connecting punchlines in reactions to all of them is the universal notion of injustice anywhere being a threat to justice everywhere.