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Staphorst City Council Condemns Violent Blocking of Anti-Blackface Protests


Staphorst City Council issued a statement, Man in black make-up gets blocked hard and kicks out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) protesters failed to join a pre-approved demonstration at the Sinterklaas arrival party in the municipality on Saturday. Obstructing others from exercising their right to demonstrate and taking the law into their own hands is “unbefitting of a democratic constitutional state and we at Staforst City Council strongly oppose it.”

The Netherlands’ democratic constitutional state is a “huge asset”, the city council said. “That means freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate. These freedoms were violated on Saturday by violence and intimidation.”

“Let’s send a clear message to all of us: Don’t silence others with violence or intimidation,” Staforst City Council said.

Mobs surrounded a car with KOZP demonstrators and Amnesty International observers on the A28 off-ramp to prevent them from arriving at the Sinterklaas arrival party. They set car windows on fire, smashed objects, and slashed the tire of one car. It had the effect they wanted. The mayor of Staphorst has decided to ban the demonstration.

Clash between Minister of Justice and Diet Members

The issue led to a clash on Tuesday between Justice Minister Dylan Yesirgoz and BIJ1 MP Silvana Simmons. said it shouldn’t. Simmons was upset by it. According to her, these demonstrators have regularly faced violence for a decade “either by the police themselves or by bystanders facilitated by the police doing nothing.”

Simmons could not imagine that, after a decade of affairs, the minister would first want to know what happened at Staforst. She called the minister “academically difficult” and demanded an extensive independent investigation into the police. And now I am the chairman.

Yesilgöz dismissed Simons’ charges. “I will not allow the 60,000 people working day and night for our safety to be dismissed as a racist group. No way,” the minister defended the police. Simmons wanted to respond, but Tweed Kummer chairman Vera Bergkamp turned off the mic, after which the BIJ1 MP left the chamber.

D66, GroenLiks, PvdD, PvdA, DENK and ChristenUnie also asked questions about police action or lack thereof in Staphorst. FvD referred to Amnesty International’s recent criticism of the right to demonstrate in the Netherlands.

Investigation by the judicial inspector has not yet taken place

According to Amnesty International, the police did not deploy enough officers To escort protesters to demonstrations and protect them there, despite KOZP’s call for additional security due to threats and previous experiences.

Jaap Timmer, a police scientist at VU Amsterdam, told NU.nl that the police and mayor should have been better prepared for this escalation. “I knew long ago Gouda in 2014and Zaandam, Apeldoorn, Blockage of the Friesland motorway This is a sensitive and complex file. Now the police have repeatedly shown that the right to demonstrate clearly does not apply to everyone. ”

Noting that the police have launched an internal investigation, the judicial safety inspector sees no reason to investigate how the police dealt with demonstrators after the Staphost incident. The municipality also released its own investigation.

The judicial safety inspector reviews the police findings. “If the issue persists, we will determine if more is needed,” the spokesperson said.

KOZP considering next steps

KOZP foreman Jerry Afriyie said when asked that KOZP is keeping an inventory of how many filings have been made. The report will cover threats and vandalism such as: Charges imposed by Amnesty International.

“We will do everything we can to take back the right to protest that they took away from us that day. It is said that there is It requires a lot of preparatory work, he said. “Structural abuse has eroded our confidence in government protection. We will continue to demand the right to protest.”



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