Right-wing grop Pegida decided to protest against Amsterdam's decision not to allow blackface makeup at its Sinterklaas party by parading Zwarte Pieten in blackface makeup through some of Amsterdam's most ethnically diverse neigborhoods.
The municipality of Geleen approved a protest against blackface Zwarte Piet at the Sinterklaas party in the center of the city on Saturday. This follows a meeting with the initiators of the protest on Thursday, 1Limburg reports.
The activists plan a silent protest at Sinterklaas' arrival in the city on Saturday. They hope to stand close to the Saint's podium. A spokesperson for the municipality told L1 that a spot has been designated for the protesters, but the location will not be announced yet. According to the spokesperson, it is a small group of protesters.
Protest group Kick Out Zwarte Piet is plainning at least three more protests against blackface Zwarte Piet in the coming weeks, the organization announced on Thursday, ANP reports.
The group will hold "peaceful protests" at Sinterklaas' arrival in Leiden on November 19th, in Utrecht on November 26th and Rotterdam on November 207th.
A massive 198 people were arrested in Rotterdam on Saturday for wanting to protest against controversial character Zwarte Piet. Among them were GroenLinks councilor Simion Blom, lawyer Michiel Pestman and activist Jerry Afriyie.
Rotterdam police arrested two men on Friday morning after they exchanged heated messages back and forth on social media. One person was in favor of the winter mythical character, Zwarte Piet, remaining in blackface, while the other was opposed to the character, police said.
Only the 57-year-old man from Amsterdam was accused of making a threat. Both he and a 26-year-old from Utrecht are alleged of encouraging public disorder and criminal behavior.
A massive 1,075,000 people tuned in to NTR to watch the first episode of Sinterklaasjournaal on Wednesday night. According to rating foundation KijkOnderzoek, Sinterklaasjournaal was the 10th most watched program of the evening, the Telegraaf reports.
There was much interest in the runup to the first episode. Many schools and foundations were waiting to see what Sinterklaasjournaal did with the appearance of Zwarte Piet before making a decision themselves. The first episode featured both a white- and blackface Piet.
Dutch consumers will spend somewhat less on Sinterklaas presents this year, according to a survey Q&A did among over 1,500 Dutch.
According to the firm, this does not mean that the Sinterklaas celebration is becoming less popular. The group of people buying gifts for the celebration even became slightly larger. Nevertheless, Q&A expects that the total amount spent on Sinterklaas gifts will decline by about 2 percent.
The Sinterklaas arrival committees in the vast majority of Dutch towns and cities decided to keep their Zwarte Pieten traditional with blackface makeup, according to a survey by NOS and regional broadcasters. Only two of the 223 surveyed committees will have no blackface makeup at Sinterklaas' arrival - Amsterdam and Heemstede.
Sinterklaas will be surrounded by only Chimney Pieten during his arrival in Amsterdam this year. While the organizing committee announced earlier this week that 75 percent of the Pieten will be covered in soot instead of traditional makeup, they announced on Friday that not a single Piet will be wearing the blacface makeup when Sinterklaas arrives on November 13th, ANP reports.
At least 75 percent of the Zwarte Piet's in Amsterdam will not be wearing the traditional blacface makeup at Sinterklaas arrival in the city on November 13th, Pam Evenhuis said to NU.nl as spokesperson for the Sinterklaas organizing committee in the Dutch captial.
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.
Broadcaster RTL will not be using blacface makeup on Zwarte Piet this year. The media company decided to from now on only use Pieten with soot marks on their face, RTL said in a statement.
"For one part the image of Zwarte Piet is discriminatory, while others find that Zwarte Piet is an integral part of the tradition", the broadcaster said in a statemetn. "RTL understands both points of view, but also believes that this discussion should not be about what's right, but understanding for each other."
Activists involved in the debate surrounding blackface Zwarte Piet released a statement calling for calm on Monday after a meeting with the Ministry of Social Affairs. They feel a calm and respectful discussion is what is needed on the subject
The Public Prosecutor demanded a fine of 1,500 euros against Jeffrey Affriyie for violently resisting arrest during a protest at Sinterklaas' national arrival in Gouda two years ago. The Prosecutor also wants Affriyie to pay 1,250 euros in compensation to a police officer who was injured
Extreme right-wing group NVU is planning a protest at the national arrival of Sinterklaas in Maaslluis on November 12th, the group writes on its website. "I am not ashamed of Zwarte Piet. Stop the kids festival haters", the party writes.
More than 100 Dutch celebrities, including directors, actors and athletes, wrote an open letter to broadcaster NTR on Friday asking that the appearance of controversial Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet be updated to fit a multicultural society, NRC reports based on the letter in its possession.
The municipality of Maasluis will be using mostly black Zwarte Piets at Sinterklaas' national arrival on November 12th this year, Mayor Edo Haan said to RTV Rijnmond.
NTR director Paul Romer is keeping the Zwarte Pieten in Dutch kids show Sinterklaasjournaal black because he does not want to move ahead of public opinion and believes the broadcaster should remain neutral
One person died over the weekend after participating in a protest against Swarte Pyt, the Frisian version of Zwarte Piet also portrayed in blackface makeup. The protestor died of natural causes on a bus returning to the Randstad area after the protest in Grou, Friesland on Saturday
White people were seen dressing up in blackface during several events connected to Carnival festivities held over the past few days around the Netherlands. Dressing up in blackface is a serious problem that casts aside black people and their concerns, says activist Mimi from anti-discrimination organization MAD Mothers.
Opponents of controversial Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet pressed charges of, among other things, "statements inciting discrimination" against comedian Erik van Muiswinkel, who plays the head Piet in the Sinterklaasjournaal.
Hundreds of Dutch lined up at Ikea stores on Sunday to take advantage of their one-euro Christmas tree promotion. Some customers even waited in line for more than an hour
Sinterklaas was accompanied by a wide range of characters all across the Netherlands on Friday morning. At the Prinses Magriet school in Utrecht he was surrounded by Minions and police officers.
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