Amsterdammers protest against American police violence
Some 400 people gathered on Amsterdam's Dam Square on Sunday afternoon for a peaceful protest titled Black Lives Matter. The demonstration was in protest against police violence in the United States, where two black Americans were killed by police bullets last week, but also to draw attention to Dutch victims of police brutality, Het Parool reports.
Protesters chanted the words "hands up, don't shoot", and carried signs with similar slogans and pictures of victims of police violence. The protesters marched towards Beursplein around noon and went home around 3:30 p.m. after a number of speeches.
"For me this is just as much about the Netherlands as America", Ralitsa Vliese, opinion editor of Afro Magazine, said to the newspaper at the protest. "We also saw police violence with Mitch Henriquez and in Schilderswijk." DENK politician Sylvana Simons expressed similar sentiments. "It is 2016 and unfortunately this is still necessary. It is naive to think that what is happening in America does not matter to us."
Initiator Anna Hammond is amazed at how many people responded to her call for a peaceful protest. "I'm colored, but luckily I live in Amsterdam. If I lived in America, my life would have been very different. This must stop", she said to Dutch newspaper AD. "Via social media I saw that everyone easily give their opinion, but I felt I had to get off the couch. And I'm glad that so many people agree."