Hundreds protest against anti-LGBTQIA+ violence in Amsterdam
Hundreds of people attended a demonstration against anti-LGBTQIA+ violence at the Homomonument in Amsterdam on Wednesday. An Uber driver allegedly assaulting a woman early Saturday morning after she attended Pride Amsterdam triggered the protest.
Protesters held signs with texts like “Uber not Safe,” “Get Queers home safe,” and “Pride is a protest.” The injured woman and others addressed the hundreds of protesters. She said, among other things, that her attack triggered fourteen parliamentary questions. “Something good will come out of this,” she said. “Not just for me, but the entire community.” She asked the public to share their experiences with Uber. Many did.
The driver allegedly assaulted the 23-year-old woman after she and her date took an Uber home from a Pride party. The woman suffered a concussion, facial injuries, and nerve damage, a friend of the victim previously said. The police confirmed that there was an incident but are reluctant to label it as anti-LGBTQIA+ violence.
The police said that there are always two sides to a story. The driver said the women spat on his car, and he called the emergency number a little before 5:00 a.m. because he felt unsafe. “We want to do a nuanced investigation into that,” the police said in response to the demonstration. The victim denied spitting in the taxi. She is also taking legal action against Uber because the company allegedly blamed her for the incident.
Uber is investigating the incident and said it would support the police with their investigation. In the meantime, the driver doesn’t have access to the app, a spokesperson said. He said it is important to get to the bottom of this. “This is a serious matter. Everyone must be able to get safely from A to B. It is therefore imperative that all parties file a report and that bystanders who may have seen or heard more come forward.”
The taxi service added a special complaint category to its app to report discrimination in July 2019. “Such a report goes to a team of specially trained experts, who then take action.” The “discrimination button” came after an Uber driver refused to drive a drag queen. The spokesperson cannot say how often people reported discrimination.
Uber also said it provides a lot of information. At the beginning of July, the company made an educational video in collaboration with interest group COC and the Amsterdam Discrimination Hotline, intended to set a good example for drivers. Uber and LGBTQIA+ platform MEIJT also made a video series with well-known persons from the community sitting in the back seat of a taxi and talking with drivers about acceptance and safety.
Reporting by ANP