Thousands march for diverse, united Netherlands

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Thousands of people took part in an 8 km march through Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon. They were demonstrating for a diverse Netherlands united as one, along with new movement Ieder1 (Every 1 in English), NOS reports.

The march started at the Amsterdam ArenA and ended at the Museumplein around 4:30 p.m. People carried signs with texts reading "We are one" and "We are radically positive". Participants also carried yellow balloons.

Ieder1 aims to give a voice to people in the Netherlands concerned by the increasing polarization in the country. The movement believes that the presence of so many different cultures must be seen as a source of strength, rather than concern.

A number of artists and speakers took to the stage on the Museumplein. Speakers included Kim Speierenburg, Eric Corton, Angela Groothuizen, Sef and Nasrdin Dchar, the initiator behind the march. The event ended around 6:00 p.m.

"We are here to make a positive sound heard from the silent majority", one participant said to broadcaster NOS. "We join for unity. Equality: that's the point", another said. Another added that "a period of unity is coming in the Netherlands. I will not live to see that period, but I am sure that it is on the way. We must fight for it. We're actually fighting for unity for people in the future."

The initiative was supported by Mayor Eberhard van der Laan of Amsterdam, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb or Rotterdam and Mayor Jozias van Aartsen of The Hague. Aboutaleb even arranged free bus transports from Rotterdam to Amsterdam for is citizens who wanted to participate.