Labour party withdraws from anti-racism demonstration

Flyer for anti-racism demonstration in Amsterdam on 18 March 2018
Flyer for anti-racism demonstration in Amsterdam on 18 March 2018. (Photo: Comite 21 Maart / Facebook)

The Amsterdam factions of left-wing parties PvdA and SP decided not to participate in the annual anti-racism demonstration in March. According to the parties, the purpose of this day is being overshadowed. Animal party PvdD also withdrew from the demonstration. And GroenLinks is considering withdrawing, according to Elsevier.

The management of the Comité21Maart, which arranges the annual anti-racism protest, last week announced that the slogan for the demonstration would be "No racists in the council". The demonstration is arranged for March 18th, three days before the International Day against Racism and Discrimination on March 21st. Due to criticism on the slogan, the committee decided to change it to "No racism in the councils". 

The demonstration - which focuses on the municipal elections this year - currently feels too much like "an action specifically aimed against political parties like Forum voor Democratie (FvD)", the PvdA said, according to "We see tensions rise, and therefore we have made this well-considered decision", the PvdA said. According to the labour party, everyone has the right to participate in the municipal elections, and that includes the FvD. 

The PvdA added that the party disapproves of the FvD's actions. "We completely disagree with practically everything the FvD stands for. We find terms like 'floating negro', 'homeopathic dilution' and disregarding Muslims and refugees horrible."

The call for the demonstration is too one-sided, the SP said, according to Het Parool. "Conversations about the adaption of the manifesto have not led to satisfactory results. That is why the SP decided not to put its name under the manifesto this year."

The PvdD in Amsterdam already announced its withdrawal from the demonstration on Sunday. "We are against racism. But we won't demonstrate against another political party, that is undemocratic and undermines our system", Johnas van Lammeren of the PvdD said on Twitter.