Thursday, 2 July 2015 - 13:58
Hundreds of Zwarte Piet complaints in Amsterdam
Hundreds of complaints on Zwarte Piet were filed at the mobile police uni set up on the Museumplein in Amsterdam during the commemoration of the abolition of slavery on Wednesday. A spokesperson for the police told NU that the mobile unit received about 300 complaints about Sinterklaas' helper. Four anti-Zwarte Piet organizations – Nederland Word Beter, New Urban Collective, Zwarte Piet Niet and Stop BlackFace - called on the public to file complaints against Zwarte Piet on slave liberation day. Activist Jerry Afriyie will use these complaints to support his lawsuit against Zwarte Piet. According to the organizations, “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.” Last year Nderland Wordt Beter and other activists also filed charges against the figure of Zwarte Piet for discrimination, racism and group insult. But the Public Prosecutor dismissed the case because there was no criminal offense. The activists are now trying again. If the Prosecutor dismisses the case again, they will consider filing a complaint with the United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights, NU reports.