Zaandam councillor “threatened” during swastika spray paint interview

Zaandam councilor Juliette Rot pressed charges of threats and intimidation against a group of Turkish-Dutch young people from the Poelenburg neighborhood after they interrupted an interview she was giving about vandalism at a local supermarket, NOS reports.

The councilor for Democratisch Zaandam was speaking to RTV Noord-Holland about a swastika and racist texts spray painted on a Vomar supermarket. The interview was conducted at her home in Zaandam. During the interview a car carrying four young people came driving up. One of them, vlogger Ismail Ilgun, got out of the car and approached Rot with a camera in his hand. He interrupts the interviewer with accusations that Rot is lying, while the others in the car shouted.

"It was very intimidating", Rot said to the broadcaster. "They also said 'we know where to find you'. For me this is very dramatic." According to Rot, she pressed charges again several young people in April, but nothing came of it. She feels let down by the Zaandam police. "I've heard nothing from mayor (Geke, ed) Faber, not even an expression of support. On Twitter an SP colleague suggested that I stigmatize the Poelenburg neighborhood with my stories."

According to Rot, her goal is not to generate publicity. "I just want this to stop and am using my position for that. After much doubt I eventually pressed charges against these young people. I believe there are other people who also want to do this, but I don't know if they dare. You see what comes of it."

The group of young people made headlines last week by threatening a Hart van Nederland news crew reporting on harassment at a local supermarket. The group is also known for Ilgun's video blogs on YouTube. According to NOS, these videos mostly show intimidation and aggression.