Finns reportedly attacked the migrants first on Tuesday evening, according to media reports. The latest clashes come amid a growing number of fights between the locals and the migrants over a new migrant center that was built in Forssa.
Witnesses described a large group of locals gathering by the migration center. The group began to fight the migrants, who are living in the center, Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE reported.
Both groups used weapons such as bats and pipes, police said. A total of five people were reportedly injured and two of the participants were detained, according to the YLE.
Police are encouraging more people involved in the fight to come forward.
According to the officers, around 100 people were involved in the fight. However, the exact number is unclear, as both groups have cleared out before police arrived.
“I hope that everyone who has received some injury will notify the police,” YLE quoted Tomi Repo from Forssa police as saying. “Police are only aware of a very small number of injuries, but I believe that there are more.”
The local municipality is working to set up a committee that would try to solve the recent wave of violence in the town.
“I hope that people understand that violence and these kinds of attacks are always wrong, on both sides, and nobody joins in with them,” said Kaisa Lepola, chair of the town council’s board.
Another version of the story that is floating online describes two migrants, who were seeking shelter, attack a 15-year-old Finnish boy first. In response, the locals reportedly gathered in front of the migration center as part of a revenge plot.
Two videos were posted on YouTube titled ‘Forssa: migrants attack Finns!’
One video shows migrants holding objects like bats and pipes and locals drive by in a car. People are seen running away in the video. The second video shows people fighting in a parking lot in front of the migrant center.
Meanwhile, locals have organized a protest Thursday, where they plan to decry welcoming more migrants.
Norway to build fence on border with Russia to curb refugee inflow
The new fence will be 200 meters long and 3.5 meters high and will stretch from the Storskog-Borisoglebsk border crossing that will also be equipped with new gates, Reuters reports, citing sources in the Norwegian government.
The construction of the fence will be finished in the coming weeks before winter frosts set in to make it harder for illegal migrants to cross into Norway via the forest. The works have already started as old wooden barriers designed to control reindeer herds have been removed from the border.
“The gate and the fence are responsible measures,” Deputy Justice Minister Ove Vanebo told Reuters, defending the move.
At the same time, the move provoked criticism from some Norwegian politicians and activist groups that said a fence prevent people fleeing war and persecution from coming to Norway.
“We’ve an obligation to be a country people can flee to,” said Linn Landro, of the Refugees Welcome group in Norway, as quoted by Reuters. “The fence sends a very negative signal, including to Russia because it says that ‘we don’t trust you,'” he added.
Some politicians also questioned the reasonability of the move as no refugees came to Norway from Russia via the so-called “Arctic Route” this year so far, according to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.
“I can’t see a need for a fence. There are too many fences going up in Europe today,” said Rune Rafaelsen, the mayor of the Soer-Varanger municipality which borders Russia and host the only border crossing between the two countries, told Reuters, referring to Hungary.
The decision to erect a fence on the border was taken in April. At that time, Justice Minister Anders Anundsen said in a press release that the fence will help to ensure better control over those, who enter Norway and the Schengen area.
The decision was taken amid requests from the police in the Finnmark region bordering Russia to build a fence on the Norwegian border with Russia and even to temporarily shut down the Storskog-Borisoglebsk border crossing.
“If the flow of refugees gets out of control, the fence will help,” Katrine Haetta, the police chief for Norway’s Finnmark region, told Norwegian NRK broadcaster at that time.
Now, some Norwegian politicians also say that the move could possibly lead to tensions with Russia and called it an unwelcome echo of the Cold War. Rune Rafaelsen called it a backward step. Norwegians and Russians could cross the border visa-free for short trips so far.
In April, Norwegian authorities said that the security fence with the gate will in a normal situation not represent any noticeable difference for those crossing the border. Tonje Torsgard, Communication Advisor in the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, also told local media that Russian authorities were informed about the measure.
Russia also maintains a 196-kilometer fence on its border with Norway and has not complained about the plans of the Norwegian authorities so far.
Norway’s border commissioner, Roger Jakobsen, played down the importance of the move in the context of bilateral relations between Norway and Russia. “We shouldn’t make a storm in a teacup out of it,” he told Reuters, commenting on the issue.
About 5,500 asylum seekers entered Norway from Russia in 2015, forcing the Nordic country to toughen its immigration rules in December to let it deport asylum seekers to countries deemed “safe,” including Russia.
Many refugees coming into Norway via the “Arctic route” were previously sent back directly at the border. Norway also deported some asylum seekers, who already crossed into the country, back to Russia, but later suspended the measure.
Germany’s anti-immigrant AfD becoming a force with young, unemployed males – study
The German Institute for Economic Research and Humboldt University examined interviews with over 40,000 people, opinion polls and qualitative surveys, to establish whether the controversial party, which breaks numerous taboos of mainstream German politics, is a flash in the pan, or has a long-term future.
The answer appears to be the latter.
The party is currently polling at about 10 percent around the country, vying for third place with the Greens, behind the two main centrist parties. It has already been elected to three regional assemblies, including scoring a spectacular 24 percent in the former East German province of Saxony-Anhalt.
In Germany’s proportional representation system, it only needs to pass the 5 percent threshold to be elected to the Bundestag, with a vote likely to be called for autumn 2017.
It has done this by undergoing a rapid transformation. Its initial manifesto was endorsed by a group of academics and journalists, and was squarely focused on Europe, and the mismanagement of the common currency.
But AfD has rapidly expanded its appeal, by striking a chord with disaffected and disadvantaged voters, helped by ongoing financial struggles in the Eurozone, and the influx of over 1 million migrants in the past two years.
The study, conducted in 16,000 households, showed that around half of AfD voters had no party allegiance before opting for the new far-right movement. The other half come mostly from center-right and far-right parties, including the nationalist NPD, which was founded more than 50 years ago.
The typical profile of the current AfD voter is male – more than two-thirds of its supporters are men – and living in East Germany, where the party is four times as popular as in former West Germany. The AfD supporter is also much more likely to be under 30, unemployed, and with a below-average level of education. They are also more likely to be dissatisfied with the state of democracy in the country.
“This study shows that we are well on the way to becoming the party of the common man,” said Georg Pazderski, a member of the AfD senior leadership.
The next test for the movement will be the local elections in Berlin, where mainstream politicians have sounded dire warnings about giving the vote to the party, but where pollsters are saying that the AfD may outperform its current 15 percent poll numbers, thanks to ‘shy voters’.