Being able to demonstrate for or against something you believe in is a fundamental right in the Netherlands. But that right is under pressure, National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen said in a new report, ANP reports.
The police arrested 11 people during and after a demonstration by anti-Islam movement Pegida in Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon. According to the police, the demonstration was "relatively calm" and nobody was injured.
Around 25 to 30 Pegida supporters gathered at the Stopera and started marching towards Frederiksplein around 1:30 p.m. A group of 40 to 50 people, belonging to movement Laat Ze Niet Lopen among others, gave a counter demonstration. The riot police kept the two groups apart.
A protest at Utrecht Centraal on Wednesday evening turned into a confrontation between Kurdish people protesting against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and counter-protesters. The police intervened and dispersed the protesters, NU.nl reports.
The Amsterdam factions of left-wing parties PvdA and SP decided not to participate in the annual anti-racism demonstration in March. According to the parties, the purpose of this day is being overshadowed. Animal party PvdD also withdrew from the demonstration. And GroenLinks is considering withdrawing, according to Elsevier.
Police union ACP is calling for more transparency on the costs involved in police deployment to demonstrations. "Our plea is that the police will show how many demonstrations there are a year and what the costs of these demonstrations are", union chairman Gerrit van de Kamp said to RTL Nieuws.
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.
A police horse died during a demonstration by anti-Islam group Pegida in Nijmegen on Sunday. The horse died of heart failure and its death was not caused by its deployment to the demonstration, the Nijmegen police said on Twitter.
The horse collapsed around 2:00 p.m. near the Tunnelweg in Nijmegen. The rider was hurt in the fall. According to the police, the officer is doing "well under the circumstances".
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.
For the first time in years, Sinterklaas' national arrival may happen without any protests for or against controversial character Zwarte Piet. The national arrival is happening in Dokkum on November 18th. By Wednesday night the municipality of Dongeradeel, which covers Dokkum, received no applications for demonstrations, AD reports.
Teacher union AOb thinks that all 6,500 primary schools across the Netherlands will not open today as primary school teachers strike for a higher salary and lower workload. The strike continues, despite reports published on Wednesday night that the new government set an extra 500 million euros aside for primary education. Around 90 percent of primary school teachers are participating in the strike, NOS reports.
"We hardly hear of any schools that will not close. And if we don't get enough money soon, we may close for two days", an AOb spokesperson said to news wire ANP.
A total of 32 people were arrested during demonstrations in Enschede by extreme right-wing collaboration group Fortress Europe, which includes Pegida, and anti-fascist groups No-Hogesa and AFA on Sunday. All but one of the detainees were released from custody during the course of the day, ANP reports.
The suspect still in custody was a speaker during one of the demonstrations. He is suspected of insulting groups of people and discrimination.
The municipality of Enschede is taking a number of extra security measures in preparation for various demonstrations scheduled to happen in the city on Sunday. Anti-Islam group Pediga arranged a demonstration for Sunday and a number of anti-fascist groups already announced counter demonstrations.
Extra security measures include a ban on face-covering clothing, the police will be allowed to preventatively search people on the streets, and the demonstration areas will be monitored by cameras, RTL Nieuws reports.
Anti-fascist organization AFA demonstrated in Amsterdam on Thursday evening. A large number of people marched through the Dutch capital tho show support for their allies in Charlottesville, United States where a mass gathering of right-wing extremist groups ended in the death of a young woman on Saturday, ANP reports.
According to the police, the demonstration went well - there was good contact with the demonstrators and no arrests were made.
The PVV is demonstrating in Arnhem on Wednesday afternoon against the city's decision to appoint Ahmed Marcouch as mayor. Marcouch is not surprised by the opposition from the PVV, but does regret the fact that PVV leader Geert Wilders is using racial hatred to deny Arnhem its choice in leader, he said to newspaper AD.
The police arrested a total of 10 people in Enschede on Sunday for breaking a demonstration ban implemented in the city. About an equal number of right-wing anti-Islam movement Pegida supporters and their opponents were arrested, according to news wire ANP.
All of the detainees were released again by Sunday night, the Enschede police said on Twitter. Pegida leader Edwin Wagensveld was one of those arrested.
The city of Enschede decided to ban planned demonstrations by Fortress Europe, No Nazis in Enschede and Enschede tegen Racisme on Sunday due to indications that the demonstrations will may lead to confrontations. Anti-Islam movement Pegida, which was set to be part of the Fortress Europe demonstration, is furious about this decision and plans to go through with the demonstration, Tubantia reports.
Four underage boys were arrested in Groningen on Sunday just before two demonstrations in the city - one by anti-Islam movement Pegida and a counter protest by Groningen Tolerant. According to the police, they boys were arrested for being in the possession of fireworks and brass knuckles and not being able to identify themselves, GIC reports.
A few hours after the protests, the police said that the arrested boys seemed to have no connection to the Pegida demonstration.
About 2 thousand people participated in a march against anti-LGBT violence through Amsterdam on Wednesday evening. The participants marched hand-in-hand from Dam Square to the Gay Monument at Westermarkt, ANP reports.
A Dutch-Turkish protest planned in Rotterdam on Friday afternoon is canceled, the organizers announced on Facebook. They can't guarantee the safety of the participants and therefore feel it's better not to go through with it, AD reports.
The protest, "Solidarity for Turks", was to advocate for freedom of expression for Dutch-Turks in the Netherlands and against police violence during previous protests at the Turkish consulate this past weekend. Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb gave permission for the protesters to march from Central Station to Schouwburgplein between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
On Sunday night the police were forced to intervene in a demonstration by about 250 Turkish-Dutch in Amsterdam. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan put the demonstration to an early end around 10:45 p.m. due to disruptions of public order and traffic, the municipality announced. Riot police units were deployed and eventually chased the demonstrators home using water cannons, AD reports.
Thousands of people gathered on the Malieveld in The Hague on Wednesday afternoon for a Holland against Hate demonstration against American president Donald Trump. The initiators want the protest to show that the Netherlands is against Trump's "xenophobic policy" of closing the United States borders to people from seven Muslim countries. They also hope to convince the Dutch government to send the same signal. Many politicians were also part of the demonstration, NOS reports.
A group of Kurdish people got together in The Hague during the early hours of Friday morning to protest against the arrest of two chairmen of the Turkis pro-Kurdish party HDP and nine other parliamentarians of the same party. It is unlcear how many people took part in the demonstration in the center of the Hague, but according to the police, there were no incidents, ANP reports.
Anti-blackface group Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) plans to protest in Maassluis during Sinterklaas' national arrival on November 12th. "For us 2016 will be the last year that December has an aftertaste of colonialism, slavery and opression", the group said according to RTL Nieuws.
According to the KOZP, Zwarte Piet in his current form is a racist figure.