Bizarre riot at Night of the Arts in downtown Helsinki
The 18th Night of the Arts in Helsinki on Thursday suddenly spawned a most unusual riot, when a demonstration on behalf of graffiti art set off from Simonkatu at around 10.30 p.m.
According to police reports, some 100 to 200 youths participated in the demonstration, and dozens of officers including several riot policemen were required to block off the path of the demonstrators.
However, the crowd had time to scrawl tags on places and smash several windows of shops along Simonkatu. According to the police, the situation was rather serious.
The massive intervention by the police gathered a sizable crowd of passers-by who did not notice any rioting, and the situation passed off without further trouble.
A similar demonstration called the ”Night of the Street Arts” took place in downtown Helsinki also during the 2005 Night of the Arts, and according to the police, the demonstrators then caused a sizeable amount of damage.
In other respects this year’s Night of the Arts passed off quite peacefully under grey skies, even though the city centre was crowded out with some 10,000 people.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Good Night, Helsinki! Night of the Arts in the capital on Thursday (23.8.2006)