Pegida demonstration in Apeldoorn, Jan 17th, 2016 (Photo: @PegidaNederland/Twitter) - Credit: Pegida demonstration in Apeldoorn, Jan 17th, 2016 (Photo: @PegidaNederland/Twitter)
Thursday, 25 February 2016 - 10:48
Pegida rally set for Saturday at Amsterdam city hall; Counter-protest expected
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan gave the go-ahead for anti-Islam movement Pegida to protest in the capital on Saturday. So far no counter-demonstration application was received, but according to the municipality, there are "concrete indications" that Pegida opponents will again try to disrupt the demonstration. Pegida wants to protest in Amsterdam on Saturday to make up for a previous protest two weeks ago that was cut short after a fake bomb was discovered. The protest will take place in front of city hall between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The anti-Islam movement wanted their demonstration "against the mayor, Islamization and the asylum policy" to happen in front of the mayor's official residence, but Van der Laan, the police and prosecutor decided that this is not a suitable spot. There is not enough space between the house and the water for a demonstration of between 300 and 500 people. The four hour long demonstration will also be a disproportionate burden for residents, businesses and institutions surrounding the official residence. Based on previous demonstrations that got out of hand, Amsterdam also decided to impose a few extra rules on the demonstration. Protesters are not allowed to carry any weapons or anything that can be used as a weapon. They will not be allowed to cover their faces, if this is with the intent to disrupt public order. The demonstrators will also not be allowed to light any fireworks or set anything on fire. The city invites anyone who wants to organize a counter-demonstration to submit an application as soon as possible. The mayor, police and prosecutor already designated a place for any eventual counter protest - at the Dockworker statue on Jonas Daniel Meijer square. Any individuals or groups who try to disrupt the registered Pegida demonstration will be removed by the police and may be arrested.