Amsterdam allowed to move controversial rally from Dam Sq. to Museumplein
Amsterdam's decision to move the Samen voor Nederland demonstration from Dam Square to Museumplein was reasonable and legitimate, the court ruled on Friday. Arguments were heard during summary proceedings brought by the organization against the city regarding its rally scheduled for Sunday.
The judge agreed that the Amsterdam authorities, including the mayor, chief district prosecutor and police district chief, can move the demonstration, because there were fears of disorder due to the invited keynote speaker, British conspiracy theorist David Icke. Three counter-demonstrations have been announced, including the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) and a group of anti-fascists who want to make their voices heard.
According to the municipality, there is more space on Museumplein, giving the police a better overview of the groups of demonstrators. A police action on Dam Square would entail extra risks because of the many bustling, narrow shopping streets in the area, and the presence of shoppers and passers-by typical for Sunday afternoons.
In the meantime, the Dutch immigration office, IND, has informed Icke in a letter that he will be refused entry to the Netherlands. There were concrete indications that his arrival in the Netherlands "endangers public order and public peace.” Earlier, the Amsterdam authorities already made a request to the demonstration’s organizers to refrain from letting Icke speak, because of his "anti-Semitic and hurtful statements in the past.”
Even now that Icke will not be present, the municipality does not want the demonstration on Dam Square, "because it is possible that he will still address the demonstration via a video connection.” Even then, disorder would be expected.
Samen voor Nederland said the Museumplein is not suitable as a location for the demonstration, because it reminds the supporters of violence that the police used against demonstrators at a prior protest. The organization also finds the National Monument on Dam Square the best spot for a demonstration entitled “No war, just peace.”
Icke promotes a conspiracy theory that suggests that humanity is secretly ruled by alien shape-shifting reptiles pretending to be humans. According to critics, the reptiles are a metaphor for allegations of a secretive group of elite people who are primarily Jewish.