Brother wants Amsterdam street near shooting named for Peter R. de Vries
The surviving family members of Peter R. de Vries support the idea of naming a street in the city after the assassinated Dutch crime reporter. De Vries was shot at close range in broad daylight on the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat earlier this month, and died in a hospital about a week later.
About a thousand people signed a petition launched on Friday to change the name of the street to honor the popular broadcast journalist. “We the citizens of the Netherlands observe that the assassination attempt on Peter R. de Vries has created a deep impact on everyone who stands for justice, and fights against injustice and crime,” the petition said. It called on the city of Amsterdam “to eternally honor” De Vries and what he stood for by renaming the street.
The late journalist’s brother, Wouter de Vries, said he and the other surviving relatives think such a tribute would be fitting, and he asked Mayor Femke Halsema to begin the process. “I would like to call on Halsema: Get rid of a a naval hero, and come up with a Peter R. de Vries street name,” he said on television show Humberto.
He said the reporter’s son and daughter should have the honor to work with the city to choose a location for a permanent memorial.
The petition to rename the street where De Vries was shot also became popular on Twitter. One user wrote, “This man will be immortalized in his beloved city because we will never forget; criminals will hate that a street is named after Peter.”
De Vries’s friend, attorney Peter Schouten, replied, “I wholeheartedly agree with this,” and also appealed to Halsema to see what she can accomplish. “As a lawyer, I do know how difficult these name changes are and what it takes. But what Peter R. de Vries did for people was 100 times harder.”
Changing the name of the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat would be an unusual result, noted broadcaster AT5, as the municipality does not usually change the names of existing streets. RTL Nieuws also pointed out that the rules dictate that a street cannot be named after someone immediately after they die.
When Theo Van Gogh was assassinated in 2004, the city announced a park on IJburg would bear his name two years later. The development and construction process was finished in 2008.