Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 10:20
No Gaza, ISIS rallies & protests in Hague neighborhoods
The Hague's Mayor Jozias van Aartsen is staunchly against having any pro- or anti-ISIS demonstrations in any of the city's neighborhoods for the time being. For the Mayor, blocking even the smallest chance of "chaos" means that "the next two months at least" may see no hint of protests in residential areas. Van Aartsen made this clear to the municipal council on Wednesday, De Telegraaf reports. This does not mean that there will be no protests whatsoever. The Malieveld, the Lange Voorhout, the Plein and the Spuiplein are all locations that have seen protests and demonstrations before, but the Mayor will not put into words what he would deem "suitable" locations, only saying that protesters will have to move to other locations. A spokesperson for the Mayor's office says that "there are many available locations, this is reviewed per demonstration and in negotiation with the organizers." The point is that residential areas may not be used for a rally. Last week, the Mayor decided to ban demonstration in the Schilderswijk, an area where protests have not gone smoothly in the past. At two pro-IS rallies, there were anti-Semitic slogans being shouted, and at one against muslim extremism, counter-protesters threw rocks at people. Van Aartsen believes that these protests are drawing in more "malicious" people. The Mayor also thinks that the organizers "were unable to control an important part of their sympathizers", and that the police were not able to differentiate individuals belonging to a certain group, as groups intermingled. De Telegraaf writes that seven groups have now announced themselves for a 20th of September demonstration in The Hague. Pro Patria, the group that saw counter-demonstrators throw rocks, wants to hold a new 'march for freedom' in the Transvaal neighborhood, close to and very similar to the Schilderswijk neighborhood. The Netherlands Folk Union (NVU) wants to march through the Schilderswijk. The Islamic Muslim Defense League (MDL), and the Party for Unity want to block both neighborhoods.