Anti-Zwarte Piet group wants court to ban Sinterklaas arrival

Sinterklaas_zwarte_piet Michell Zappa Wikimedia commons

A group of Zwarte Piet opponents filed summary proceedings asking the court to ban the national arrival of Sinterklaas in Zaanstad on Saturday. The Majority Perspective foundation filed this lawsuit against a number of involved parties, including Sinterklaasjournaal broadcaster NTR and the mayor of Zaanstad, reports.

The foundation asked the court to ban what it calls the "racist national arrival", according to the newspaper. "All parties are guilty of not complying with laws and international treaties, including UN child rights treaties and anti-racism conventions", the foundation said. 

In 2016 the United Nations concluded that the figure of Zwarte Piet is an expression of racism that must be combated through education. The tradition is outdated, the UN concluded. 

Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer investigated the figure of Zwarte Piet after receiving complaints. She concluded that the Sinterklaas celebration with Zwarte Piet in his current form can contribute to bullying, exclusion and discrimination. Zwarte Piet in his traditional blackface form is therefore in conflict with the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, she said.

The municipality of Zaanstad and NTR both told that they will not respond prior to the hearing.