The Public Prosecutor demanded 6 months in prison against one of the 34 people suspected of blocking the A7 highway so that two buses carrying anti-Zwarte Piet protesters could not reach the national Sinterklaas arrival in Dokkum last year. The other 33 suspects face community service, NOS reports.
The police officers that responded to a blockade on the A7 that prevented two buses of anti-Zwarte Piet protesters reaching the national Sinterklaas arrival in Dokkum last year, completely ignored the protesters on the buses and talked in a friendly way with the people blocking the highway, Jerry Afriyie of action group Kick Out Zwarte Piet said in court on Thursday, RTL Nieuws reports.
A Facebook post stating that the 34 suspects in the trial around a highway blockade during the national Sinterklaas arrival last year were sentenced to prison, was massively shared on Facebook. The post on the page 'Ik Ben Zwarte Piet Fan' was shared over 25 thousand times in the 23 hours it was online. It has since been removed, NOS reports.
No Chimney Pieten will accompany Sinterklaas during celebrations in Noord-Brabant's largest cities. Seven of the eight cities in the province decided to stick to traditional Zwarte Pieten, with the actor's faces colored by brown, dark brown or black makeup, Omroep Brabant reports.
The trial against 34 people suspected of blocking the A7 highway to prevent anti-Zwarte Peit protesters from reaching the national Sinterklaas arrival celebrations in Dokkum last year, started on Monday. The case was suspended shortly after it started because one of the judges, Willem Sikkema, lost consciousness, AD reports.
The Zaanstad Sinterklaas committee, the largest in the Zaanstreek, will not participate in the national Sinterklaas arrival in Zaandijk on November 17th. A statement by broadcaster NTR, the organizer of the national arrival, led the committee to the conclusion that no blackface Zwarte Pieten will be allowed to participate in the arrival for the first time. But according to a spokesperson for NTR, this is not the case at all.
The Sinterklaasjournaal will feature only "Chimney Pieten" with soot on their faces this year, broadcaster NTR said in a statement on its website. How black the Pieten's faces will be remains vague. The amount of soot on their faces depends on how often they've gone through the chimney, the broadcaster said.
In the statement NTR addressed a number of questions around Sinterklaas' national arrival in Zaanstad on November 17th, and his controversial helper Zwarte Piet. On the question how the Pieten will look in the popular kids' show, NTR said:
With the month of November, and the arrival of Sinterklaas in the Netherlands, approaching, the Zwarte Piet discussion is also starting up again. The first demonstrations at the Sint's arrival in Zaanstad on November 17th were announced, though so far only from activists supporting the blackface figure of Zwarte Piet.
The VVD's newest parliamentarian Thierry Aartsen, who will replace Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in the Tweede Kamer on Thursday, is facing criticism about comments he made on Twitter in the past. Despite the controversy, Aartsen can count on the support of faction leader Klaas Dikjhof. As far as he is concerned, Aartsen is "most welcome" in the VVD parliamentary faction, NU.nl reports.
A total of 34 Zwarte Piet supporters will be criminally prosecuted for blocking the A7 highway at Joure before Sinterklaas' national arrival in Dokkum last year, the Prosecutor announced. They blocked the highway to prevent anti-Zwarte Piet activists reaching Dokkum to demonstrate at the arrival party.
Some 18 suspects were identified during a criminal investigation into the unauthorized highway shutdown meant to stop protestors from marching against Zwarte Piet last November. Police notified the suspects that they are wanted for questioning, the public prosecutor's office announced on Monday.
Verene Shepherd, a professor at the University of the West Indies and a former UN expert on people of African descent, still gets hate mail from the Netherlands four years after she criticized blackface Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet. At one point she received up to 80 emails per day, riddled with hateful and racist remarks, the Jamaican professor revealed while giving a speech at a human rights conference in Jamaica on Sunday, Afro Magazine reports.
Dutch party clothing retailer Feestkleding 365 decided to drop all signs of blackface from its Zwarte Piet costumes, the company announced in a press release on Tuesday. The decision was made based on racist comments the retailer received on an opinion poll about whether or not to keep the costume in its current form. Feestkleding 365 also decided to donate the revenue made by selling these costumes to charity.
Gert-Jaap van Ulzen, board member of the VVD in Leeuwarden, resigned from the party following posts he made on Twitter calling anti-Zwarte Piet activists "negro fascists". Faction secretary Joel Heiner confirmed to Omrp Fryslan that Van Ulzen decided to withdraw from the VVD Leeuwarden board after "good consultation" with the other board members.
The teachers at four out of five primary schools in the Netherlands do not talk about the color of Zwarte Piet and do not ask themselves whether appearance of the controversial character may be hurtful to some children, according a study by DUO Onderwijsonderzoek & Advies, ANP reports.
The Amsterdam city council meeting was suspended for a time on Thursday afternoon while three men dressed as blackface Zwarte Pieten, complete with gold rings in their ears and red lips, were removed from the public gallery. Officially they were removed because the blackface makeup made them unrecognizable and they thereby violated a ban on wearing face-covering clothing in public buildings, AD reports.
On Saturday there will be a demonstration against racism and Zwarte Piet in Dokkum. The police will escort the protesters to the Friesland town, to make sure their way isn't block as it was when they were heading to an approved protest at Sinterklaas' national arrival almost two weeks ago, NOS reports.
The demonstration on Saturday is an initiative of Zwarte Piet is Rascisme, Stop Blackface, Free Your Mind, Doorbraak and Progressive Groningen, according to the broadcaster. The protest is scheduled for between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
On Monday the court in Utrecht sentenced a man from Lelystad to 40 hours of community service, 20 of which conditionally suspended, for posting discriminatory comments on a Facebook post by activist group Kick Out Zwarte Piet, RTL Nieuws reports.
After the national arrival of Sinterklaas in Meppel in 2015, the man wrote under the Kick Out Zwarte Piet post: "Just let them work as slave again then they can't complain anymore it's what they want to work out lazy sweat nigger that's what you are born for", according to the broadcaster.
A primary school in the Utrecht district of Zuilen called the police after a group of activists protesting for the preservation of Zwarte Piet in his traditional blackface appearance, stormed into the school on Thursday, ANP reports.
Around 10 protesters dressed up as Zwarte Piet charged into the primary school De Cirkel's schoolyard and classrooms and started handing out perpernoten and stickers shortly before the end of the school day.
Dutch newspaper AD and a number of Dutch celebrities are calling for a 'Sinterklaas truce'. The newspaper wants to make a deal - no debating about the form of the Sinterklaas party or the appearance of Zwarte Piet as long as Sinterklaas is in the Netherlands - and a number of well known Dutch expressed similar sentiments in the newspaper.
The locks of the Sinterklaas home in Dordrecht were sabotaged by activists over night. A metallic substance and glue were found in the locks, making the doors difficult to open. Stickers reading 'Zwarte Piet is racism' were stuck on the building, NOS reports.
According to the VVV, the organization responsible for the Sinterklaas home, the damage is not too bad. All stickers were removed before the home opened to its public, which mostly consists of school children. The Sinterklaas house is a municipal building where Sinterklaas 'lives'.
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations will arrange a meeting with mayors and local governments to discuss citizens' right to demonstrate and the considerations that should be taken into account when a demonstration is canceled, she said in response to parliamentary questions from DENK MP Tunahan Kuzu, AD reports
A last-minute demonstration ban implemented for the national Sinterklaas arrival in Dokkum this past Saturday had to do with information that protesters planned to use heavy fireworks, Mayor Marga Waanders of Dongeradeel - which covers Dokkum - said in a statement. The statement did not say whether it was pro-Zwarte Piet or anti-Zwarte Piet protesters who had fireworks, AD reports.
"Based on this information, the triangle [police, Prosecutor and mayor] was advised to ban the demonstration, because the safety of all people could no longer be guaranteed", Waanders said.
Over 36 thousand euros was raised in under two days in an action launched to cover any possible fines imposed on people who blocked the A7 highway to stop three buses carrying Kick Out Zwarte Piet protesters from reaching Dokkum on Saturday.