Amsterdam cultural center facing violent threats after excluding FvD from elections debate
Amsterdam debate center De Balie hired extra security on Wednesday due to threatening phone calls about an upcoming election debate. The calls started after far-right party FvD posted on Instagram that De Balie "canceled" them by not inviting them to participate in the debate, De Telegraaf reports.
On the Instagram post on Tuesday, the FvD said that the party was "excluded from participating" in the debate. The post included a photo of the FvD leader in Amsterdam Anton van Schijndel and the text "stop cancel culture."
De Balie calls the accusation "obviously bullshit." "There are a lot of parties participating in the elections. Due to space and time constraints, you cannot debate with each other for hours. We have to make choices," De Balie director Youri Albrecht said to the newspaper. "Because of the Instagram post, there have been calls and threats in recent days. That is extremely taxing for our employees." There were also a handful of FvD supporters protesting outside the debate center on Wednesday.
According to Youri, the parties invited to participate in the debate were chosen based on "the relevance of the past four years and the polls." "There are other parties that aren't coming either, including newcomers who would have liked to participate. This has nothing to do with cancel culture. I don't understand at all what this is about."
FvD faction leader Van Schijndel, who participated in the AT5 election debate early this week, told De Telegraaf that it is a "very dangerous precedent that Forum is excluded from the debate." "We have a different role in city politics than the established parties and are the challengers. Forum should then be present at such a debate," Van Schijndel said. He maintains that his party is a victim of a "cancel culture" even though other parties were also not invited. "A case of deplatforming."
Van Schijndel did reject the threats against De Balie. "Shouting nasty things into the phone is always objectionable."