HOLLAND WITHOUT RACISTS IS LIKE CHEESE WITHOUT MILK
In various cities, many police are on the move when entering Sinterklaas, but in general there are few demonstrators. Many entries have already been made.
No demonstrations in Eindhoven
Many officers were on display in Eindhoven, but Kick Out Zwarte Piet (against Zwarte Piet) refrained from demonstrating here, and Pegida (for Zwarte Piet) had also dropped out. Someone was arrested because he did not listen to directions from the police. The interest in the entry seems to be a lot lower in Eindhoven than in previous years. Some say that people stay at home in order not to end up in demonstrations.
Six times Kick Out Zwarte Piet
Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) took to the streets in six cities on Saturday “for an inclusive Sinterklaas party without racism”. These are The Hague, Alkmaar, Groningen, Dordrecht, Leeuwarden and Nijmegen. The demonstrations in Eindhoven and Hoorn did not go ahead because these municipalities have indicated that they will be ‘black pee-free’ in 2020. Approximately twenty KOZP supporters are present in their demonstration field in Dordrecht. The texts on the banners seem to be kept mild, including: “Party for every child.”
Restless in Leeuwarden and Emmen
In Leeuwarden, the police came between KOZP and a number of supporters of Zwarte Piet. No arrests were made. There are about twenty KOZP people in their demonstration area. That has since been turned off and is no longer accessible, small groups of pro but also counter protesters are being stopped. The public sometimes shakes their head in response to the enormous police deployment. The course is closer to the entry than last year. There is a fair amount of security and police in the center, also with ME vans.
Read also: This is how the Netherlands experiences the arrival of Sinterklaas
The police had to take action in Emmen. Fireworks and eggs were thrown at opponents of Zwart Piet. After the police intervened, it became quiet again, no arrests were made.
Check by Amnesty
Around one hundred opponents demonstrate in Nijmegen. According to the police, the atmosphere is good. At the demonstration section there are people from Amnesty International who see if the right to demonstrate is being facilitated. Observers are also present in Dordrecht, The Hague, Alkmaar, and Groningen.
In Groningen there were about 200 KOZP activists in a trade, surrounded by hundreds of hooligans and supporters of Zwarte Piet. The two groups were separated by a line of agents, ME men and eight police horses. After the Saint had passed, both groups disappeared quickly. As far as is known, no one has been arrested here either.
Also read: Zwarte Pieten from Pegida arrested in Apeldoorn
There is also a lot of police in The Hague. Agents have approached and checked a number of motorcyclists who had dressed as Black Pete. They were allowed to continue their way. KOZP is demonstrating at the Koekamp, where a few hundred people are standing. A large group of a few dozen opponents of Zwarte Piet calls out slogans such as: “The Netherlands is ashamed.” The demonstration went smoothly. Afterwards the KOZP supporters walked to the station, where slogans were called in the hall.
There were speakers on the stage at the Koekamp and it was announced that the anti-piet group would like to organize another event on 5 December (package evening). What it will look like and where it will be kept is not yet known. The activists also symbolically offered a petition in which they called on Prime Minister Mark Rutte to talk to them before that date.
Silent protest in Curaçao
At the arrival of Sinterklaas in Curaçao, dozens of demonstrators are present on Saturday morning (local time). They have asked the police for protection in response to threats on social media, just before the entry.
The demonstration is aimed “against the colonial figure of Saint Nicholas,” says Tyrone Brunken of Kòrsou kontra rasismo (Curaçao against racism). This organization is supported by Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP). According to Brunken, this is a silent protest that aims to get people thinking about the traditional children’s party. More than a thousand parents with children are present at the entry.