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.
Sinterklaas paraded through the Amsterdam neighborhood of Osdorp on Saturday on the back of a camel, instead of a horse, with a drum band playing Arabic music and a barrel organ, Het Parool reports.
The neighborhood parade caused some political backlash - from PVV leader Geert Wilders who called it "sick" on Twitter, and animal party PvdD worried about the welfare of the camel - but according to organizer, 15-year-old Salim, he simply wanted to make it a fun parade for his neighbors to enjoy.
People protesting for keeping Zwarte Piet in blackface makeup, also have to comply with the law, State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said in WNL on Sunday. He was referring to a group of people blocking anti-Zwarte Piet protesters from reaching the Sinterklaas parade in Dokkum on Saturday, where they had permission to protest against racism.
"I understand the emotions on this subject, but I cannot approve of people stopping everything on a highway," Knops said. "Everyone must abide by the law, including these people."
Buses filled with Zwarte Piet protestors were stopped by a group of about 35 white people stationed on the A7 highway outside Heerenveen, Friesland on Saturday. The protesters were on their way to the official Sinterklaas arrival in Dokkum about 50 kilometers away, where they had approval from city officials to march against the character.
Mayor Marga Waanders of Dongeradeel, the police and Public Prosecutor decided to put a stop to a call on Facebook for Friesland residents to try and stop anti-Zwarte Piet activists reaching Dokkum, where Sinterklaas will make his national arrival on Saturday. In an open letter, the Mayor called on everyone coming to see Sinterklaas' arrival to respect each other's opinions.
Sinterklaas, his helpers and everyone going to see him arrive in Dokkum on Saturday are advised to dress warmly and take their raincoats. The weather is expected to be rainy and cold, Weeronline reports
According to the weather service, maximum temperatures in Dokkum on Saturday will reach no higher than 8 degrees. But due to expected rain and a moderate to strong wind, the ambient temperature may drop to freezing point.
Dokkum is getting ready for Sinterklaas' national arrival on Saturday, including putting up decorations and preparing for an anti-Zwarte Piet protest. The municipality of Dongeradeel, which includes Dokkum, gave Kick Out Zwarte Piet permission to protest, but is still working out the exact conditions and arrangements, a spokesperson said to Het Parool.
Kick Out Zwarte Piet announced their protest on Facebook. The protest will be preceded by a "March for Civilization", according to the group.
Blackface Zwarte Piet will disappear from Rotterdam's Sinterklaas celebrations. Snic, the organization of the Sinterklaas Parade in the city, discussed the controversial character and how to modernize the children's party with Platform Rutu, which represents various African communities in Rotterdam. They decided to remove any reference to black or other possibly offensive stereotypes, including the word 'Zwarte' from Piet's name, RTV Rijnmond reports.
New costumes selected for Zwarte Piet at the Amsterdam Sinterklaas parade have sparked a new critique from activists in the Netherlands. The organizing committee, SSIA, dropped the decades-old Zwarte Piet costume because of its apparent connections to the 17th century child slave trade, replacing it instead with costumes inspired by Spanish nobility in the 16th century.
The roughly 400 Pieten helping Sinterklaas in Amsterdam's celebration this year, will be decked out in brand new, specially designed suits, the foundation responsible for the Amsterdam Sinterklaas celebration, SSIA, announced on Monday night. The new costumes were specifically designed to remove all references to slavery from the controversial character, discovered in examinations of the history behind the Zwarte Piet costume.
As the Netherlands' Sinterklaas celebrations approaches, municipalities are starting to reveal their plans on how they're dealing with controversial character Zwarte Piet. Most of the municipalities are sticking to blackface or dark brown makeup, according to AD's Piet Atlas. Amsterdam and The Hague will have no blackface Piets, with Amsterdam also designing a completely new costume. Utrecht plans mostly Chimney Piets - with faces covered in soot marks - and a few traditional blackface Piets. Rotterdam is keeping its plans secret until the day before the celebration.
Sinterklaas will have a "motley crew of helpers" in the Sinterklaasjournaal this year, NTR announced on Monday. Exactly what these helpers will look like was not announced, and the word 'Piet' was not mentioned once in the press release, NOS reports.
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.
The Sinterklaas parade in Gouda this year will include a gluten-free Zwarte Piet. This Piet will hand out gluten-free sweets to children with gluten intolerance. A green flag with the gluten-free logo will be strapped to his back so that he is easy to recognize, AD reports.
NTR's Sinterklaasjournaal wil not feature any multicolored Piet characters this year, media director Willemijn Francissen said to the Telegraaf. Exactly what Sinterklaas' controversial helpers will look like is unclear. All she would say about that is "a kind of fifty shades of gray". So it seems that traditional blackface Zwarte Piet may also not make an appearance.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was well within his rights when he banned a demonstration against blackface Zwarte Piet in the city in November last year, the municipality's independent complaints committee ruled, RTV Rijnmond reports.
Sinterklaas' national arrival will be in the Friesland city of Dokkum this year. The saint and his entourage is scheduled to arrive on Saturday, November 18th, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dokkum falls under the municipality of Dongeradeel. Mayor Marga Waanders is delighted that Sinterklaas chose Dokkum for his arrival. "Fantastic news for Dokkum and the region Noordoost Fryslân", she said to the broadcaster. "We will warmly welcome Sinterklaas!"
As usual NTR will follow Sinterklaas and his arrival on the Sinterklaasjournaal with presenter Dieuwertje Blok.
The committee responsible for organizing Sinterklaas' arrival in Amstelveen quit, the college of mayor and aldermen wrote to the Amstelveen municipality. The committee refuses to accept any form of Zwarte Piet other than the traditional blackface one, and decided to rather step down than be forced into it, Het Parool reports.
The PVV's legislative proposal to make municipalities only participate in Sinterklaas events in which Zwarte Piet is wearing blackface makeup, could count on almost no support from both the lower house of Dutch parliament and the Dutch government today. Most parties in parliament were against the law and Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs stated that the bill goes against the Dutch constitution.
The lower house of Dutch parliament is discussing a PVV legislative proposal today that wants to ensure that Zwarte Piet keeps his blackface makeup. According to initiator Martin Bosma, "for years there's been a war against Zwarte Piet" and that has to stop, the Telegraaf reports.
Dutch soldiers on a United Nations mission in Mali got a visit from Sinterklaas and two Zwarte Piets in their traditional blackface makeup on Monday, according to a photo the Ministry of Defense posted on Twitter.
Ravenna Bohmer and her family's Sinterklaas celebration ended in a nasty surprise on Sunday evening - their bag of gifts was stolen from their porch just before Sinterklaas arrived to hand it out, RTL Nieuws reports.
Ravenna hired a Sinterklaas and a Piet at a community center to hand out the gifts on Sunday. They were set to arrive at 6:15 p.m., so at 6:10 p.m. she put the bag of gifts on the porch. "We thought we could, because the living room is next to the front door. So if something happened, we would notice, and the gifts were outside for only a moment"
A computer error at PostNL on Monday resulted in thousands of packages being delayed in delivery. This means that thousands of Sinterklaas gifts may not make it to their recipients on time, the Telegraaf reports.
"We are working with man and might to deliver as many packages as possible through the evening delivery", a spokesperson for PostNL said to the Telegraaf after confirming the computer error.
Internal sources told the newspaper that hundreds of thousands of packages are affected by the delays, but the spokesperson denied this.
After a very cold night, Sinterklaas is celebrating his birthday in cold, but sunny weather across the Netherlands on Monday. During the night temperatures dropped to between -3 along the western coast to -8.8 degrees in Leeuwarden. Maximum temperatures will be around 2 degrees, according to Weeronline.