Kick Out Zwarte Piet protest in Eindhoven canceled
Demonstrations by the group Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP), which were supposed to take place on Sunday afternoon in Eindhoven, were canceled. The group announced on their Facebook page that this was due to the planned counterdemonstrations by Pegida, a pan-European anti-Islam movement, in the same location.
Both groups were given demonstration permits for Stadhuisplein in Eindhoven. By allowing a counterdemonstration in the same location, KOZP feels that their freedom of demonstration has been limited.
The municipality allocated an area for KOZP that would directly pit them against Pegida supporters. The action group announced that they refuse to demonstrate under these “locked up” circumstances.
“KOZP does not want to participate in this media spectacle and has no confidence that the police and the municipality of Eindhoven take institutional racism, the right to protest, and the safety of our protesters seriously,” a statement read.
Instead, KOZP will hold an online protest. From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m, a debate with various protesters will be streamed live on Instagram.
A KOZP demonstration in Venlo on Saturday terminated in violence. The protest led to riots between anti-Zwarte Piet and pro-Zwarte Piet factions. Counter-protesters threw fireworks and eggs at the police and KOZP protesters, and law-enforcement had to intervene and arrested four people.
An anti-Zwarte Piet protest in Maastricht last week spiraled out of hand, and demonstrators had to flee the scene. KOZP wants to avoid a similar situation in Eindhoven.