Suomessa kampanjaa koordinoivat Plan Suomi ja Ihmisoikeusliitto ja kampanja avataan meillä virallisesti huomenna; Euroopan avaushan oli jo viime perjantaina. En pääse itse huomisiin avajaisiin, mutta käväisin tänään Planin toimistolla ja pääsin näkemään kampanjavideon ennakkoon. On kivaa päästä tekemään yhteistyötä myös suomalaisten vastuujärjestöjen ja kampanja-aktivistien kanssa.
Hate speech attacks a particular person or group on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, colour, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, opinions or the like. Finnish legislation condemns for example defamation, illegal threat and incitement to ethnic or racial hatred but not all hate speech.
The first thing that crosses my mind thinking of Finland and hate speech are the so called immigration critics. Criticising Finland’s immigration policy as well as the immigrants coming to Finland (and often also Finland’s ethnic minorities, sexual minorities etc.) is one of the main issues on the agenda of our fourth biggest political party Perussuomalaiset (True Finns).
Since they started courting voters during the local elections (2008) and European Parliament election (2009) by criticising Finland’s rumouredly loose immigration policy other politicians also started to harden their opinions and comments on immigration.
In reality many of the statements of these critics are purely racist. They often appeal to their freedom of speech but can’t handle any kind of critique themselves. They also plead to their unawareness or use the Just kidding! -card easily.
Some of the members or politicians of True Finns have been convicted of hate speech crimes. Many have connections to aggressive nationalist and fascist movements.
The distance from violent words to violent deeds often isn’t too long. We need to fight hate speech in order to fight hatred.