PVV leader Geert Wilders responded to his political colleagues' call for him to denounce xenophobic violence in the asylum debate exactly as D66 leader Alexander Pechtold expected him to. He has no intention of doing so.
The community of Pannerden rallied around the Somali family in the town who was the target of a racist attack last. The family's home was pelted with fireworks on Thursday. The perpetrators left a flyer stuck on the front door showing a picture of PVV leader Geert Wilders and the words: "White is better, own nation first! Immigrants must go! This is just the beginning!"
PVV leader Geert Wilders' political colleagues think that he should denounce violence in the asylum debate. The PVV leader regularly calls for resistance against the arrival of asylum seekers or centers. And this often turns into violence.
Erik van Muiswinkel, the actor who plays head Piet in the Sinterklaasjournaal, thinks that Zwarte Piet as he is today will be gone in 20 years time. He does not think that Zwarte Piet lovers are racist, but Zwarte Piet is a "racist icon of a time that was racist", he said on television program Pauw.
People in the Netherlands reported 4,092 cases of racism, extremism and anti-Semitism to the police in all of 2014, an increase of 26 percent compared to a year earlier. Though total incidents fell by over four percent, racial abuse cases jumped by 26 percent to 2,764.
Judi Mesman, professor of diversity in education and development at the University of Leiden, is studying how young children who still believe in Sinterklaas see Zwarte Piet and when they start connecting him to race. The initial results of her study shows that these kids rather association Piet with fantasy characters and clowns than other people with dark skin
Roger Williams received death threats due to his Zwarte Piet documentary Blackface. The American director revealed this on RTL Late Night on Monday night.
The Utrecht faction of the VVD is calling on parents to go to school dressed as traditional, blackface Zwarte Piet during Sinterklaas' arrival on Friday. This is in response to school organization SPO, which governs more than 30 public schools in the city, banning Sinterklaas' controversial helper from the celebrations this year.
One primary school in Utrecht will have Minions helping Sinterklaas this year, instead of Zwarte Piet. After SPO Utrecht, an organization that governs 33 public elementary schools in the city, banned Zwarte Piet due to racism, the schools had to come up with different ways to handle the Sinterklaas celebration this year
Protest group Kick Out Zwarte Piet is pressing charges against people who left racist comments on a photo the group posted on Facebook.
Sinterklaas officially arrived in the Netherlands on Saturday, accompanied by his controversial helper, Zwarte Piet. Though the assistants are mythologized as having dark smudges caused by soot, the character more closely resembles minstrels in blackface with nappy-haired wigs, large hoop earrings, big red lips and a buffoonish demeanour.
Most schools in the Netherlands will be keeping Zwarte Piet in his traditional appearance during the Sinterklaas celebrations this year and in the years to come. About 34 percent of respondents find the racism debate surrounding the Sinterklaas helper not a concern for their own organizations, with 32 percent saying they do not find the character discriminatory, a survey of teachers by general education association AOb revealed on Tuesday.
A group of FC Utrecht supporters chanted racist slogans during the clubs match with FC Twente on the Glagenwaard stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The appearance of Zwarte Piet will only be adjusted in the city of Rotterdam itself, the rest of the Rotterdam area will be keeping Sinterklaas' helper in his traditional outfit and blackface makeup. Other Dutch municipalities are also sticking to the tradition.
Albert Heijn is concerned about the security of their staff after the supermarket refused to ban Zwarte Piet. A strict Zwarte Piet manual has therefore been sent to all 850 Albert Heijn branches in the country with instructions on how to deal with difficult situations regarding the controversial character.
Eight people from six different regions of the Netherlands were fined for allegedly discriminatory and inflammatory comments posted on the “Steun de PVV” (“Support the PVV”) Facebook page in January. It was reported in January by the public prosecutor that a criminal investigation into the Facebook comments would be made.
Former asylum seeker Kiza Magendane is fed up with the anti-Islam PVV party's attacks on refugees and has launched his own registry for complaints about the PVV and its vociferous leader, Geert Wilders. The hotline was launched in response to a similar service announced by Wilders Wednesday for the public to complain about “nuisance” caused by asylum seekers.
In the run-up to the national arrival celebration of Sinterklaas, held this year in Meppel, Drenthe, local mayor Jan Westmaas says he wants to enter into a dialogue with opponents of Zwarte Piet and its blackface look, as well as traditionalists who want to keep the character as is. This year's arrival is scheduled for November 14, but a representative from the municipality would not comment on the image of Zwarte Piet that will be used in this years’ celebrations, reported Nu.nl.
Albert Heijn grocery stores will continue to use the blackface character Zwarte Piet as part of their winter holiday promotions around the Sinterklaas holiday. “We are sincerely bothered that cultural practices around the beloved Sinterklaas parties may be offensive,” parent company Ahold said in a statement.
An organization that governs 32 public elementary schools in Utrecht says that Sinterklaas celebrations in the schools will no longer include the maligned blackface character Zwarte Piet. "An important principle of public primary education in Utrecht is that everyone is equal," the organization SPO Utrecht stated on Wednesday.
Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs is organization an expert meeting in October to find ways to counter discrimination on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
The Golden Coach has joined Zwarte Piet as another symbol of Dutch culture that can be construed as racist. Action group De Grauwe Koets, The Sooty Coach in English, has organized a demonstration against the famous Dutch coach on the Museumplein in Amsterdam on Saturday. According to the Facebook event page for the demonstration, the coach's panels contain "racist images which glorify the colonial past".
An exact date for the hate speech trial against PVV leader Geert Wilders has not been set yet, but it will start in 2016 at the earliest. Wilders is facing charges of insulting a group of people based on race and inciting discrimination and hatred.
The United Nations committee on the elimination of racial discrimination has released its report on discrimination in the Netherlands following the meeting with the Dutch delegation in Venice last week. The committee highlighted a number of concerns made recommendations regarding, among other things, Zwarte Piet, ethnic profiling by the police, racist statements made by politicians, antisemitic chants during football games, the asylum policy and ethnic bullying in schools.