De Nieuwe Universiteit protestors set fire to the Lieverdje statue on the Spui (Picture: Twitter/@tfoenami) - Source: De Nieuwe Universiteit protestors set fire to the Lieverdje statue on the Spui (Picture: Twitter/@tfoenami) at
Monday, March 16, 2015 - 11:11
UvA protestors angry police intervened after statue set on fire
Students of the action group De Nieuwe Universiteti (The New University) are unhappy about the police's behavior during the demonstration on the Spui on Friday. In a statement on their website, De Niuewe Universiteit claims that the police used "excessive force." According to the statement, the police attacked students with "fists" and "bats" during the protest on the Spui and the subsequent protest at the police station. The students say that this was unnecessary as it was a peaceful demonstration. One of the protesting students allegedly sustained bruised ribs and two broken fingers. Police officers in civilian garb arrested two students after demonstrators set fire to the Lieverdje on the Spui. This was done in an attempt to revive Provo times. Dozens of students and lecturers then went to the police station to stage a noise protest to "show solidarity with the arrested students". A third student was arrested during this demonstration. De Nieuwe Universiteit calls the bonfire at the Lieverdje statue harmless as the statue is made of bronze and cannot burn. They also state that they will clean up any possible burn stains today. They state that the fire "was also simply a fun way to end the demonstration and start the weekend." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-wbB56UE9Y They also have an explanation for why some students were wearing masks and dressed in dark clothing. "The reason is simple, as you have seen Friday night, the police is prepared to intimidate, beat up and prosecute peaceful demonstrators. These students wanted to stay anonymous so they couldn't be singled out for aiding in the happening at the Lieverdje." According to Het Parool, during the noise protest at the police station on Beursstraat, a stone was thrown through the window of the station, the tires on police bicycles were slashed and motorcycles were pushed over. The police told the newspaper that they tried to enter into a dialogue with the students, but the students refused. According to a police spokesperson, the students were blocking access to the station, so police officers could not do their job. "Even the desk where crimes are recorded was unreachable. If people do not want to listen, we can do nothing else but remove them in a different way." The police have no knowledge about any injuries.