Petition to make Slavery Remembrance a national holiday signed more than 60,000 times
The petition calling for July 1 to be made a national holiday and commemoration for the atrocities committed during the slave trade has now been signed more than 60,000 times. The radio station FunX, the Netherlands Get Better Foundation and The Black Archives will hand over the petition to the Interior parliament committee on Tuesday, ANP reported.
In addition to public holiday demand, the petition’s initiators also want the Dutch State to formally apologize for the role it played in slavery. Last week, Amsterdam became the first Dutch city whose mayor has offered a formal apology for its involvement in the slavery trade.
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht recently proposed that Keti Koti should become a national holiday to commemorate slavery and celebrate its abolition. The mayors and aldermen called it important to have "a day where we mourn and celebrate, look at lessons learned from the past and a shared future, just as we do on May 4 and 5," referring to the day memorializing the country's war dead and the date it was liberated from occupation during World War 2.
July 1, 1863, was when the Netherlands abolished slavery in Suriname and the former Dutch Antilles. Some freed people were still forced to work on plantations in Suriname until a decade later. Keti Koti means "broken chains" in Sranantongo and is already observed as a national holiday in Suriname.
A recent survey EenVandaag carried out among 30,000 Netherlands residents showed that 59 percent of them were against making Slavery Remembrance Day a national holiday.
66 percent also didn't think the Dutch State needed to apologize for its role in slavery.