Anti-blackface protests planned for Sinterklaas parties in Maastricht, Volendam
Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) will demonstrate this year at the Sinterklaas arrival parties in Maastricht and Volendam. According to the action group, Zwarte Piet is still part of the parties in these places. KOZP will also present a petition on Tuesday, which calls on municipalities not to grant subsidies to arrival parties in which Pieten in black, gray, or brown makeup participate.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the start of the campaign against Zwarte Piet and racism at Keti Koti, the day on which the abolition of slavery is commemorated and celebrated. "While we see that a lot has changed in the past decade and we are cautiously hopeful, it remains necessary to take action to ensure that no child has to grow up with the harmful caricature that is Zwarte Piet," according to KOZP.
The demonstration in Maastricht is on Saturday, November 13. "Maastricht is one such municipality that in 2021 still does not understand that racism is not a children's party," the action group said in a statement. "It is incomprehensible how Maastricht, as a well-known European city, can still sell this intentionally. Also, this year there are blackface Pieten at the arrival, subsidized by the municipality and sponsored by a long list of local companies."
The protest in Volendam is a day later. "Some small municipalities still think that it is fine if they use Zwarte Pieten during the arrival," according to the action group. "One of those smaller municipalities that can't say goodbye to the 'traditional' racist stereotype of Zwarte Piet is Volendam."
KOZP also set up an #antiZwartePietChallenge, in which people can take action against Zwarte Piet. On December 5, the initiators and their supporters will reflect on the past ten years and look to the future.
Last year, KOZP was also in Maastricht, where a small group of demonstrators was attacked by hundreds of counter-protesters. After an hour, the action group stopped the demonstration because of the unsafe situation, and the activists were taken to a safe place outside the city under police protection.
Reporting by ANP