About one thousand people from different parts of Finland participated in neo-Nazi and anti-fascist demonstrations in the city of Tampere on Saturday.
The protests were organised by the Nordic Resistance Movement and the opposing group, called “Tampere Without Nazis”. The counter-protesters numbered some 800 people according to police, an estimated four times more than the neo-Nazi rally.
Some 200 police officers monitored the protests and kept the two groups of protesters apart from one another at a distance of some hundreds of metres. Police also reportedly screened participants for items and weaponry that may be used for bodily harm.
Counter-demonstrators detonated at least three smoke bombs during the demonstration. Demonstrators also shortly interfered with train traffic by walking on the tracks for about half an hour, but soon moved away from the rail lines. One demonstrator was taken into custody on suspicion of assault and three others were detained on other, unspecified grounds. Otherwise the protests went off without incident, police say.
A majority of the protesters on each side had disbanded by 4 pm on Saturday, police tweeted.
The Pirkanmaa District Court has said that it will decide whether to dissolve the Neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement by the end of October.