Climate strike protests bring thousands to Finland’s streets

Friday's events in more than 20 Finnish towns and cities aimed to raise awareness of the global climate crisis.

Helsinki Police estimate 5000 people took part in the climate strike event at Parliament on Friday 27th September 2019 / Credit: News Now Finland

Thousands of people took part in rallies at more than 20 locations around Finland on Friday to raise awareness of the climate crisis, and demand that the government move more decisively to do something about it.

The main event was in front of Parliament in Helsinki where police estimate 5000 people took part.

Although the Friday For Future protests were organised for and by young people, residents of all ages joined forces for Friday’s events which included music and speeches.

Protester Joel Sunström with a sign in Swedish at climate strike rally in Helsinki, 27th September 2019 / Credit: News Now Finland

“Our climate is in a bad space, so we actually need to do something right now and we can’t wait, and when it comes to the measures we see that we need to take every possible action right now. We can’t afford to wait” says Joel Sundström, who joined the protest with two friends and made signs in Swedish.

“It’s fueled the movement, because it’s been going on for two years and we haven’t really seen any change, so people are a bit upset because we hear a lot of talk but you don’t see that much action, a lot of hot air” Sundström adds.

Climate strike protests took place not just in Helsinki but also in locations as far afield as Mariehamn and Forssa; Torniö and Hämeenlinna; Joensuu, Rovaniemi and Utö, Finland’s most southerly island inhabited all year round.

Many protesters showed up with home made signs, some inspired by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunburg.

Some students brought a sign that echoed Thunberg’s Twitter bio, using the word of US President Donald Trump.

“We made it at our school at Aalto University with a few friends in my class” explains Linea Lindgren.

“Because she’s a girl, a young girl, they always get reactions and they get told you’re just a girl and stuff like that and it’s why I think the quote is very powerful because it really combines climate change and feminism together, how they go hand in hand” Lindgren says.

Protest sign at climate strike event Helsinki, 27th September 2019 / Credit: News Now Finland