As a permanent resident of Finland although I am not yet a citizen, I would like to extend my thanks to the City of Helsinki and the Finnish Police Force for their strong and civic-minded action in removing the Suomi Ensin hate group from our public space.
Please make no mistake. I, and many of my family and friends both Finnish and non-Finnish, consider such groups a direct threat to our physical safety – as well as an embarrassment to our own sense of what Finland stands for in culture and in attitude.
I thank you, sincerely, for taking this firm step towards a Finland that can stand proud on its 100th birthday, and be a place I remain grateful to live, and work, and raise my family.
And I want to ask you, with respect, not to roll over on your bellies and let these ignorant thugs return to do further harm. I noticed you had already denied them a new permit, which is something for which I once again thank you. The blemish they represented, physically as well as culturally, let alone the assaults and damage they were responsible for and the general threat they posed, simply cannot be borne. I will not stand for it, and I do not pretend to have the proud history of standing up to bullies that the Finnish government can boast.
No, I am not a citizen, but this is my home. I am considering taking the next step and becoming a citizen. This means a great deal to me, because I have only ever been born into a nationality. To make that conscious decision, and undertake all the hard work and bureaucracy involved, is a huge step.
I am not considering citizenship because I have to. I have found a home, employment, and made a family in this country, and I am not going anywhere. There may come a time when I am forced to consider citizenship because government policy and attitudes towards immigrants reaches that ugly final point. But this week you have given me hope that this point may never come.
I am considering citizenship because I want to. For love of this country and its people, and my desire to share its ongoing legacy.
Do I, then, have a voice in defining that legacy? Do I have a say in what I consider to be “Finnish”? Do I have a right to judge what Finnish society and culture should be?
Maybe I do. Maybe I don’t.
I am writing to you, as public servants and representatives of both residents and citizens, and asking that you do not give a voice – much less a public home in the centre of our nation’s capital – to hatred, fear and isolationism. I am writing to thank you for having that strength for which I admire this nation and its people. I am writing to you to ask that you do not surrender to these bullies. I am asking for my own sake, and for the sake of my friends, and for the sake of my not-pureblood-Finnish daughters.
The Suomi Ensin people will be writing to you to demand their shitty racist clubhouse back.
You decide whose voice is heard.
[Day 94. 64 pages, 28,019 words.]