Helsinki police have completed a preliminary investigation into the protest of climate activists by the Elokapina demonstration movement in October last year, when the protesters waded and glued to the entrance to the Government Castle in central Helsinki.
Elokapina is the Finnish branch of Extinction Rebellion’s environmental group.
In a press release released on Wednesday, investigators said charges of disobedience against police involving a total of 54 suspects have been transferred to the prosecutor’s office for investigation.
In addition, 48 protesters are suspected of clogging and intrusion into public spaces. As the preliminary investigation progressed, the latter charge was reduced to aggravated intrusion into public premises.
A few protesters are also suspected of causing property damage and two others are charged with drug use.
The demonstration in front of the Government Palace was the culmination of a 10-day climate movement Autumn Rebellion The autumn uprising that began when protesters closed Helsinki’s main road, Mannerheimintie, and continued to block traffic in the capital’s Pitkäsilla.
The movement had demanded that the Finnish government declare a climate and environmental emergency and draw up binding legislation to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, ten years before the government’s current target of 2035.
The same protest also led to an investigation into the actions of the police, in which case the National Police Board launched an internal investigation into the events and police methods related to the protests.
Helsinki police admitted that they were unable to accurately assess the security threat posed by the climate demonstration and that there were other shortcomings in their communication.
Cases against some 850 protesters arrested – including the Elokapina demonstration, but also separate incidents against rising petrol prices and Covid restrictions – will be dealt with over the next year, and authorities fear the number of cases will cause a rush in the courts.
Over the past year, up to 850 different mass protests have resulted in lawsuits being prosecuted.
Source: The Nordic Page
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