Anti-blackface protests to continue throughout the year

Sinterklaas Amsterdam 2
Police form a line blocking Zwarte Piet protestors in Amsterdam. Nov. 16, 2014 (tui_tues/Twitter)Police form a line blocking Zwarte Piet protestors in Amsterdam. Nov. 16, 2014 (tui_tues/Twitter)

Anti-racism action group Kick Out Zwarte Piet will protest throughout the year against the presence of blackface Zwarte Piet in the annual Sinterklaas celebrations this year. The group is planning actions every quarter, was decided at a meeting in the Willem Twee showroom in Den Bosch on Monday, RTL Nieuws reports.

"We discussed many ideas with which we can campaign throughout the year," Kick Out Zwarte Piet founder Jerry Afriyie said to the broadcaster. Exactly what these protests will look like, he would not say. "Sometimes we will announce them, sometimes it will be a surprise. But we will continue until our goal is achieved."

Kick Out Zwarte Piet will focus at least some of its attention on anti-discrimination agencies this year, Afriyie said. "They sometimes stay aloof from the discussion," he said. "We want the agencies to speak out against Zwarte Piet on their website. Now they often don't because they don't want to get involved in the debate."

The action group has been campaigning against the the blackface makeup on Zwarte Piet for years. They decided to keep Monday's meeting a secret after a previous meeting in The Hague was targeted by Zwarte Piet supporters in November. The pro-Zwarte Piet supporters threw fireworks, broke windows, and vandalized cars around the Kick Out Zwarte Piet meeting. 

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