The Arnhem-Leeuwarden court of appeal on Thursday convicted 15 pro-Zwarte Piet protesters for their role in blocking the A7 highway to prevent two buses of anti-Zwarte Piet protesters from reaching the national Sinterklaas arrival in Dokkum in November 2017. The court did, however, lower their sentences to 90 hours of community service.
Parliamentarians from both opposition and coalition parties expressed concerns about increasingly intimidating anti-abortion, anti-choice demonstrations at abortion clinics in the Netherlands. Oppositions parties GroenLinks, PvdA, SP, PvdD and 50Plus and ruling party VVD issued a joint call to protect women's right to safely choose abortion, NOS and RTL Nieuws report.
Mayor John Jorritsma of Eindhoven must allow Pegida to demonstrate in the city, according to National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen. By banning a protest the anti-Islam movement requested for Thursday, the mayor "damages Pegida's fundamental right" to demonstrate, Van Zutphen said to Omroep Brabant. "We must look carefully at whether we can give Pegida another chance to exercise that fundamental right."
Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health thinks it is a "good idea" for municipalities to keep pro-life protesters at an appropriate distance from abortion clinics. He supports municipalities who want to protect the women going to these clinics by creating buffer zones around the clinics. "I am in contact with the municipalities and the clinics about that", the Minister said, AD reports.
Several parties in the lower house of Dutch parliament voiced strong criticism on Prime Minister Mark Rutte's response to disturbances around various Sinterklaas celebrations in the Netherlands over the weekend. The Prime Minister's call for no demonstrations in the three weeks that Sinterklaas is in the Netherlands in particular led to bewilderment from the D66, GroenLinks, SP, PvdA, ChristenUnie, PvdD and DENK, among others, NU.nl reports.
The court in Leeuwarden sentenced pro-Zwarte Piet activists to community service between 80 and 240 hours for preventing two buses of anti-Zwarte Piet protesters from reaching the national Sinterklaas arrival in Dokkum in November last year, NU.nl reports.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was authorized to ban a demonstration against Zwarte Piet in November 2016, the court in Rotterdam ruled. Activist group Kick Out Zwarte Piet wanted to protest in Rotterdam during the arrival of Sinterklaas in November 2016. Mayor Aboutaleb banned this demonstration out of fear of disturbances. Some 200 demonstrators were arrested.
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.
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
Pro Patria, the anti-IS demonstration group in The Hague, has not been allowed by Mayor Jozias van Aartsen to march through the city's Schilderswijk neighborhood on the 20th of September. Because of this, the group wants to move the protest to the nearby Transvaal neighborhood instead, De Volkskrant reports.
The faction president of the Party for Unity in The Hague has uttered support for the extremist grouping ISIS on his Facebook page. This pro-ISIS stance from Abdoe Khoulani is causing some discomfort in Parliament, and seems to add to the growing debate about current ISIS demonstrations reportedly being planned in The Netherlands.