Demos at the Helsinki summit

Clinton-Yeltsin Helsinki Summit woke up some resistance also by Helsinki radical left. Thursday 20.3. "Toivon Internationaali" (International of Hope), zapatista-inspired group of anarchists and some trotskyist youth organised demonstration against imperialism and neoliberalism in front of President Palace where Clinton and Yeltsin had dinner.

There were about 60 demonstrators, which was maybe good considering that time had to be changed just couple of days before and organisation has been bit hasty anyway. Spirit of this illegal demonstration was quite good however, with lots of shouts and banners like "Bill and Boris - scum go home !", "Down with superpowers, power to the people !" and "Smash imperialism!". We also burned US flag ( we would have burned Russian flag too, but no-one had managed to stole one ).

As expected there was at least hundred police to secure Yeltsin which drove to palace just 20-30 meters from us. Ordinary police wasn't enough however , as there were also police helicopters flying above us and snipers (!) in positions ready to shoot.

Finnish media seemed to be more interested about right-wing demonstrators from Baltic countries and some lonely Finnish right-wing loonies. But I guess media coverage was anyway more than in usual demos. It would be nice to know if we got any international media, so if you saw demonstration in some media, let us know. ( Somebody said that at least some US radio network interviewed one demonstrator at Thursday...did they send this ?)

Reko Ravela "Kapinatyolainen" (Rebel Worker) - magazine

At night between 20. and 21.3. at about 1.30 twenty anarchist activists held "wake-up-demo" in front of 'Hotel Intercontinental, which was reserved for Clinton and American delegation . Clinton and delegation were woke up with noise from horns and whistles and shouts "Free Leonard Peltier!" Free Mumia Abu-Jamal" "Human Rights now!".

After five minutes (and after half of the building had turned lights back on, including presidential suite) police stopped demonstration. After retreat with their banners and placards four activists decided to continue and made new wake-up about 2.45 which continued succesfully about 10-15 minutes until police violently stopped it again and arrested activists (which were released next day).

Demonstration was dedicated to all victims of death penalty both in US and Russia, all political prisoners and also to all those jailed refusing military service in Russia. Media told that Clinton "slept badly because of the noise" and some also mentioned the demonstration, but all seemed to suppress the connection and main themes of demonstration, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier weren't mentioned.

If the conscience of world leaders doesn't spoil their nights , somebody has to do it !

Reko Ravela "Kapinatyolainen" (Rebel Worker) - magazine