Anti-blackface Zwarte Piet protest approved for Geleen on Saturday

The municipality of Geleen approved a protest against blackface Zwarte Piet at the Sinterklaas party in the center of the city on Saturday. This follows a meeting with the initiators of the protest on Thursday, 1Limburg reports.

The activists plan a silent protest at Sinterklaas' arrival in the city on Saturday. They hope to stand close to the Saint's podium. A spokesperson for the municipality told L1 that a spot has been designated for the protesters, but the location will not be announced yet. According to the spokesperson, it is a small group of protesters.

The police will deploy extra officers to avoid disturbances on Saturday. 

The initiators of this protest is two women from the Parkstad region. Following the announcement of the protest on Wednesday, the two women received several threats, mainly on social media. Their private information was aslo posted online, but since removed, according to L1.

Activist group Kick Out Zwarte Piet also announced at least three more protests against the blackface makeup on the character in the coming weeks. On Saturday nearly 200 members of the group were arrested in Rotterdam for not adhering to a ban on demonstration in that city that day. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb revealed that both the AIVD and Dick Schoof, the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, warned him about possible disturbances caused by anti-Zwarte Piet protestors prior to Sinterklaas' national arrival in Maassluis on Saturday.