Eggs thrown at Zwarte Piet protestors in Westzaan
Dozens of people demonstrated on Saturday at the Sinterklaas arrival party in Westzaan, Noord-Holland against the use of blackface makeup when actors portray Zwarte Piet. They stood with signs that stated “Zwarte Piet is racism,” and “Black children matter.” Eggs were thrown at the demonstrators and a number of people shouted and jeered at them when they left.
The opponents of Zwarte Piet first stood on a field at the Westzanerdijk, close to where the local arrival party started. During this demonstration, a boat suddenly appeared with a black screen, which ensured that the protest was blocked from sight by those at the party.
The organization of the demonstration, Zaankanters against Racism, said it was disappointed that the police did not intervene. "A location within sight of the podium was promised."
At some point, eggs were also thrown at the demonstrators. An egg struck one of the protesters on the forehead.
The demonstrators later moved to 't Reght Huys in the center. The party continued there with festivities on a stage. Upon departure from this location, another egg was thrown, this time against the bus in which the protest group had boarded to leave the location. Verbally abusive comments were also shouted at them.
Westzaan is a part of the Zaanstad municipality, which has paid subsidies to the organizers of several Sinterklaas arrival parties. In part, these include Piets with sooty makeup smears, but also includes some in full blackface makeup as Zwarte Piet.
"This is slowly transitioning to soot," a spokesperson said earlier, but this should be done with more consultations. A motion was also passed last week in which it was agreed that from next year, no more subsidies will be provided to arrival parties which include blackface Zwarte Piets.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times