Activists replace street signs to educate people about the Netherlands' colonial past
Action groups against racism put up new street signs in various cities in the south of the Netherlands on Sunday. The streets currently bear the names of "criminals from the colonial era of the Netherlands", according to the action groups. Sunday is International Day against Racism.
The names of the old "sea villains" have been replaced by heroes from the present time, among others.
Local activists from Den Bosch, Breda, Nijmegen, Sittard-Geleen, Maastricht, Heerlen, Venlo, Weert, Roermond and Eindhoven participated in the campaign. The activists associated with Kick Out Zwarte Piet also took to the streets to ask residents for their opinion.
"The aim of the action is to make people aware of the Dutch colonial and slavery past and to teach about this past in education," the activist groups said in a statement published Sunday. "The activists are calling on schools to work on this. They are also calling on municipalities to add captions to street names that tell the real story."
Photos on Facebook show that street signs such as Jan Pieterszoon Coenstraat, Tromplaan, Jan van Riebeeckstraat, Michiel de Ruyterstraat, Piet Heinstraat and Witte de Withstraat are disgraced. "In the coming weeks, we will be posting educational posts about different people from our past: sea villains and heroes," announce the action groups.