The Finnish branch of the environmental group Extinction Rebellio, known as Elokapina, said it was expanding a series of demonstrations in which it called on the government to declare a climate crisis in Finland.
On Saturday afternoon, members of the group dressed in red made a three-hour silent march through the center of Helsinki.
Shortly after 6 p.m., police announced that they had begun arresting protesters blocking traffic on Mannerheimintie.
On Saturday, the group also hosted a panel discussion with university professors and researchers in front of the Parliament annex.
From Sunday to Wednesday, members must join a volunteer project to rehabilitate dried swamp in Jämsä, Central Finland, hoping it will act as a carbon sink. Part of the area is protected in accordance with the Southern Finland Forest Diversity Program (Metso).
The August Uprising has shown protests in front of the parliament building since Wednesday, when they stopped traffic on Mannerheimintie for about an hour. Police arrested more than 140 protesters.
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Car owners are blowing their horns outside Parliament
On Saturday, traffic in central Helsinki was also hampered by other events, and many streets were closed during the Helsinki City Run half marathon.
In addition to climate action, a demonstration by car owners was held in front of the Parliament House, where motorists gathered to sing their horns.
According to Helsinki police, about 200 cars took part in the hour-long motorists’ event, as in August.
The protest is supported by a Facebook group that opposes rising car costs. Protesters say they oppose any decision that complicates the position of motorists and that “motorists are already paying enough taxes.” The government abolished taxes on the purchase of electric and plug-in hybrid cars as of Friday.
Rowdy rally fans in Jyväskylä
At the same time, police in Central Finland said they were busy late on Friday and Saturday nights due to the festivities related to the World Rally Championships in Jyväskylä and the removal of coronavirus restrictions on the opening hours of restaurants and bars.
Police said they arrested a group of people who were “intoxicated and behaving aggressively” in Jyväskylä.
According to the authorities, the ongoing Rally Finland in the Lakeland area was expected to lead to heavy traffic over the weekend, especially on route 9 in the Jämsä area.
The three-day 287-kilometer race ends on Sunday at about 2:30 p.m.
19.00: Updated with arrests.