Dozens protest Amsterdam Zwarte Piet

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Dozens of people in Amsterdam protested the inclusion of Zwarte Piet in the city’s annual Sinterklaas parade. Protestors were corralled in Beursplein in front of the city’s centrally-located stock exchange during Sunday’s event. A police line formed to separate the protestors from others attending the parade. Ninety people were arrested Saturday in Gouda when sixty protestors verbally sparred with thirty Zwarte Piet supporters.

Protestors did not shout as Sinterklaas passed with roughly two hundred Piet helpers. Though many were in blackface, some were smeared with ash while others did not wear the curly black wigs that are typically seen on Zwarte Piet. The parade began with the arrival of Sinterklaas at the Maritime Museum where he was greeted by Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, followed by a march down to Leidseplein. At Leidseplein, Sinterklaas unfurled a banner that read, “Mates, cease your wild roar.” “There’s been much to much talk from adult people,” he said, addressing the crowd. “Let us now speak of the kids.” Zwarte Piet opponents say that the character tacitly indoctrinates some children with racist attitudes, and others with a lack of empathy for people of colour. “Up to and including December 5 there is a children’s party for you all,” Sinterklaas said. One person was taken into custody in Amsterdam near the protestors. He was said to be shouting angrily about the royal family, Nu.nl reports.

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