Police estimate that at least 15,000 people have gathered in central Helsinki on Tuesday evening to support an open, multicultural Finland.
Organized by a small group of volunteers within just a couple of days under the slogan "We Have a Dream", the demonstration was spurred by a Facebook post on Friday night by MP Olli Immonen, a member of the Finns Party's far-right anti-immigration wing. He called for his "fellow fighters" to battle against "the nightmare of multiculturalism" in Finland, predicting that their "enemies'...ugly bubble" would be "burst into a million little pieces".
The event kicked off at Citizens' Square across from the House of Parliament in downtown Helsinki at 5pm with messages from President Sauli Niinistö and former President Tarja Halonen. Niinistö expressed the hope that the event would "lead the immigration discussion in the right direction."