According to the Police Board, no formal lawsuit or investigation is underway to dissolve the organization.
Last During the last few days, there has been a debate in Finland about whether the anti-immigration street patrol movement Soldiers of Odin can be abolished. A few MPs have publicly demanded the closure of the movement, but no official lawsuit or investigation into the closure is underway, according to the Police Board.
Inspector of Police Heikki Lausmaan according to the police are actively monitoring various extremist movements, but he does not want to go to speculate about the future.
The Police Board has previously called for the dissolution of the Nordic Resistance Movement (PVL). The association has been ordered to be dissolved by a decision of the Turku Court of Appeal. However, the decision has been appealed to the Supreme Court, which has not yet ruled on the matter.
Soldiers of Odin is very similar to the resistance movement, says a far-right research coordinator Tommi Kotonen From the University of Jyväskylä.
“They are very skeptical about representative democracy. It is thought that some kind of force can work better than through any machinery. ”
Soldiers of Odin has also collaborated with PVL and later Towards Freedom. According to Kotonen, however, there are significant differences in the activities of the organizations.
“The resistance movement is clearly National Socialist in ideology. In the case of the Soldiers of Odin, it is more difficult to show ideology. ”
Where the court has seen the PVL to encourage its supporters to engage in violent behavior, the acts of violence have not been part of the activities of the Soldiers of Odin in the same way.
“There have been a few acts of violence among the movement, but they have not been clearly linked to their activities, such as street patrols.”
Read more: Crowds throw firecrackers at asylum seekers in Oulu – Soldiers of Odin indicted
Last The Soldiers of Odin rose to the headlines when the movement was formerly active Tero Ala-Tuuhonen was arrested last Friday for probable reasons on suspicion of a basic Finnish parliamentary assistant Pekka Katajan attempted murder. A municipal decision-maker from Jyväskylä was also arrested on suspicion of murder Teemu Torssonen.
What happened sparked widespread debate over the motive for political violence.
Chairman of the Board of Soldiers of Odin Mika Rannan considers that the movement is too often raised on the basis of even a loose connection and then called for its cessation.
“I don’t understand why our association is always brought up, but no one is demanding a ban on the SDP because of Baltzar, for example,” Ranta commented to HS.
Several Veijo Baltzar, accused of trafficking and sexual offenses applied to Parliament in 2015 from the SDP’s Uusimaa list.
According to Ranta, the association holds discussions about members’ criminal suspicions and convictions. They also have internal sanctions in place for perpetrators, which Ranta does not want to open it further.
“Crime is always a crime,” he says.
Kotosen according to Soldiers of Odin, the operation has recently returned to its “roots”.
Right at the beginning of the movement, some of its activists talked about white nationalism and introduced Nazi insignia, Kotonen says. When the movement began to gain publicity in early 2016, it was also criticized for whether members are just neo-Nazis in disguise. This criticism caused the movement to tidy up its appearance.
“If you look at the current behavior of some of the movement, it’s very much reminiscent of the beginning.”
The anti-immigration Soldiers of Odin was founded in Kemi in 2015 to respond to the insecurity experienced by some people and to prevent crime. Rannan previous interview according to the Soldiers of Odin, he opposes the immigration policy he considers too loose, as well as the Islamic faith in general.
The beach has been denied by the movement as a neo-Nazi organization. According to Kotonen, the movement belongs to Finnish far-right groups.
“Anti-Islam is their core ideology. National Socialism is not so obvious among them, but is used more to create a threat. The activities are partly similar to skin head gangs, ”says Kotonen.
At its most active Soldiers of Odin was in 2015–2016. At that time, extensive spontaneous demonstrations were held in the name of the movement, and the movement gathered a lot of people around it. At that time, patrol activities were carried out in different parts of Finland. Activities were also established abroad.
According to Ranta, the maximum number of members of the movement has been about five hundred. Ranta does not wish to comment on the current membership.
Kotonen estimates that the total number of members has shrunk by about half. There are only a few places of active activity. According to him, from the beginning, the activity has served the active from a community perspective. There are still clubhouses on the move, at least in Kemi.
According to Ranta, the movement has also been important for the security and crime prevention experienced by people. In practice, however, this is difficult to verify.
“The feeling of security can also be negative,” Kotonen reminds.
According to his assessment, the operation of the movement has had practically no significance for street safety.