Monday, June 29, 2015 - 09:45
Amsterdam Zwarte Piet protest readied for slave liberation day
The foundation Nederland Word Beter has placed a call on Facebook inviting people to file police reports against Zwarte Piet on July 1st - the day that the Netherlands celebrates the abolition of slavery in the country. According to the foundation, Zwarte Piet encourages discrimination. This protest is a joint effort by 4 anti-Zwarte Piet organizations - Nederland Word Beter, New Urban Collective, Zwarte Piet Niet and Stop BlackFace. According to the call, a mobile police post will be set up on the Museumplein in Amsterdam during the Keti Koti Festival for people to file reports. People can also go to police stations nationwide to do so. "On July 1st we annually commemorate and celebrate the abolition of slavery in Dutch territory. 152 years after the abolition of slavery, its legacy is still visible in the for of institutional racism, discrimination and structural inequality", the organizations write on Facebook. "The figure 'Zwarte Piet' is based on a stereotypical representation of black people in the 19th century. His appearance refers directly to the Dutch history of colonialism and slavery, and makes an offensive caricature of black people. We believe that slavery, a crime against humanity, should not be trivialized because of a children's party." The organizations have composed a report form that people can fill out and file with the police. The report mentions NTR, who broadcasts the Sinterklaas Journaal, Zenos, Intertoys, Hema, Blokker and Albert Heijn, among others. According to the organizations, they are guilty of discrimination. The police confirmed to Het Parool that there will be a mobile police unit on the Museumplein during the Keti Koti Festival. "Whether we are against Zwarte Piet? We won't comment on that." a police spokesperson said to the newspaper.