Police in the city of Turku, Finland, have ordered a rainbow Pride crossing to be removed, just one day after it was painted.
According to YLE, On Tuesday (8 June), a rainbow road crossing was unveiled, in a project led by Turku City Theatre to mark Pride Month.
At the time, the city of Turku’s communications director Saara Malila said in a statement: “Flying the rainbow flag on certain days acts as an instantaneous communication channel.
“The rainbow colours painted on the street reminds us that the city is equal and open to everyone every day.”
But just one day later, the Finland’s National Police Board decided that the crossing was, in fact, illegal and ordered it to be removed.
Police said the rainbow Pride crossing violated the country’s Road Traffic Act, insisting that the colours would make the crossing unsafe.
The city, however, had considered the act and had deemed the crossing perfectly safe, as the law requires either white lines, a road sign, or both to mark a crossing.
Road signs are often used in Finland to mark crossings because of the risk of snow cover.
But the city said in a statement: “The city will follow the Police Board’s position on the matter and remove the paint as soon as possible and restore the white lines marking the protected crossing.
“A work order for its removal and repainting has already been issued.”
Almost immediately, workers were spotted with pressure washers, removing the rainbow colours.
In response, the local LGBT+ community and their allies have started decorating the pavements near the crossing with their own rainbow artwork.
One local has even organised a group painting session, writing on Twitter: “Are you on the side of equality? It is not enough to provoke a debate, we need action.
“Participate on Saturday 12 June and paint the asphalt in rainbow colours, show whose side you are on.”