After a weekend that saw anti-Zwarte Piet demonstrators attacked by threats, racist epithets, and with eggs and beer cans hurled at them, the activists of Kick Out Zwarte Piet said they are disappointed in city governance in the Netherlands. Protestors were physically and verbally assaulted during the Sinterklaas arrival events in Eindhoven, Groningen, and Leeuwarden, while threats of violence forced the cancellation of a protest in Nijmegen.
Activists angered by the use of blackface around the Dutch Sinterklaas tradition are planning to protest in Dokkum on Saturday.
The court of Haarlem ruled on Wednesday that the appearance of Zwarte Pieten participating in the national arrival of Sinterklaas in Zaandam on Saturday does not have to be adjusted further. The Majority Perspective foundation was not entitled to institute legal proceedings because no prior consultations were held with the defendants, the court said, NU.nl reports.
The municipality of Zaanstad fears that the Sinterklaas's national arrival on Saturday will have to be canceled if the court rules in favor of the Majority Perspective foundation in summary proceedings the foundation filed.
The first episode of NTR's kids show Sinterklaasjournaal on Monday featured mainly Chimney Pieten with soot marks on their faces. Only one, played by actor Maarten Wansink, had a completely black face, NU.nl reports.
A group of Zwarte Piet opponents filed summary proceedings asking the court to ban the national arrival of Sinterklaas in Zaanstad on Saturday. The Majority Perspective foundation filed this lawsuit against a number of involved parties, including Sinterklaasjournaal broadcaster NTR and the mayor of Zaanstad, NU.nl reports.
A group of anti-Zwarte Piet protesters occupied a footbridge to the Mediapark in Hilversum on Monday morning. They call on broadcaster NTR to use only so-called Chimney Pieten with soot marks on their faces in the Sinterklaasjournaal, instead of Pieten with completely black faces, 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.
Children in Zaanstad see Sinterklaas as a fun family celebration and when it comes to the color of Zwarte Piet, they prefer so-called Chimney Pieten colored black by soot, according to Zaanstad Children's Ombudsman Martien van Does, Het Parool reports.
Van Does spoke to 200 children about Sinterklaas in the run-up to a debate evening on Wednesday about the holy man's national arrival at the Zaanse Schans on November 17th.
Zwarte Piet in his traditional form will no longer be welcome at the police's internal Sinterklaas celebrations from 2020. "The Sinterklaas party is a connecting party, but some expressions at that party hurt people. Where such painful experiences exist, we look together how we can solve that", the police said in a statement.
To prevent the national arrival of Sinterklaas from getting out of hand, the municipality of Zaandstad is implementing extra security measures and strict rules for protestors. Demonstrators will have fixed areas for their protests, far away from other protesting groups, and there will be access gates and extra searches at the arrival on November 17th, ANP reports.
The area where Sinterklaas arrives, will be closed down with fences. Visitors can only enter through access gates, where bags and jackets will be searched. No glassware or drones will be allowed.
Netflix seems to be avoiding the controversy around Sinterklaas and his helper Zwarte Piet this year. No Sinterklaas shows are available on the streaming service this year, according to the Telegraaf.
Sinterklaas shows and films did appear on Netflix in the past. Responding to disappointed customers on social media, Netflix said that the content was removed because the agreements with the distributors have expired, according to the newspaper.
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.
The Public Prosecutor demanded 6 months in prison against one of the 34 people suspected of blocking the A7 highway so that two buses carrying anti-Zwarte Piet protesters could not reach the national Sinterklaas arrival in Dokkum last year. The other 33 suspects face community service, NOS reports.
The police officers that responded to a blockade on the A7 that prevented two buses of anti-Zwarte Piet protesters reaching the national Sinterklaas arrival in Dokkum last year, completely ignored the protesters on the buses and talked in a friendly way with the people blocking the highway, Jerry Afriyie of action group Kick Out Zwarte Piet said in court on Thursday, RTL Nieuws reports.
A Facebook post stating that the 34 suspects in the trial around a highway blockade during the national Sinterklaas arrival last year were sentenced to prison, was massively shared on Facebook. The post on the page 'Ik Ben Zwarte Piet Fan' was shared over 25 thousand times in the 23 hours it was online. It has since been removed, NOS reports.
No Chimney Pieten will accompany Sinterklaas during celebrations in Noord-Brabant's largest cities. Seven of the eight cities in the province decided to stick to traditional Zwarte Pieten, with the actor's faces colored by brown, dark brown or black makeup, Omroep Brabant reports.
The trial against 34 people suspected of blocking the A7 highway to prevent anti-Zwarte Peit protesters from reaching the national Sinterklaas arrival celebrations in Dokkum last year, started on Monday. The case was suspended shortly after it started because one of the judges, Willem Sikkema, lost consciousness, AD reports.
The Zaanstad Sinterklaas committee, the largest in the Zaanstreek, will not participate in the national Sinterklaas arrival in Zaandijk on November 17th. A statement by broadcaster NTR, the organizer of the national arrival, led the committee to the conclusion that no blackface Zwarte Pieten will be allowed to participate in the arrival for the first time. But according to a spokesperson for NTR, this is not the case at all.
The Sinterklaasjournaal will feature only "Chimney Pieten" with soot on their faces this year, broadcaster NTR said in a statement on its website. How black the Pieten's faces will be remains vague. The amount of soot on their faces depends on how often they've gone through the chimney, the broadcaster said.
In the statement NTR addressed a number of questions around Sinterklaas' national arrival in Zaanstad on November 17th, and his controversial helper Zwarte Piet. On the question how the Pieten will look in the popular kids' show, NTR said:
With the month of November, and the arrival of Sinterklaas in the Netherlands, approaching, the Zwarte Piet discussion is also starting up again. The first demonstrations at the Sint's arrival in Zaanstad on November 17th were announced, though so far only from activists supporting the blackface figure of Zwarte Piet.
A police officer who ridiculed a female colleague in front of 140 fellow cops during a Christmas party last year, is guilty of dereliction of duty and has to hand in 16 hours of leave, the court in Maastricht ruled. Dressed as Sinterklaas, the officer mocked his colleague's failed relationship in a poem and song, NOS reports.
The national arrival of Sinterklaas will happen in the Noord-Holland municipality of Zaanstad on November 17th this year. Mayor Jan Hamming will welcome the Saint and his helpers in the historic village of Zaandijk, after which Sinterklaas will travel to Zaanse Schans on horseback, NTR announced on Friday.
Dutch Facebook users provide a remarkably large stream of posts containing hate, racism, an wishes for someone to get a disease like cancer. The number of such posts coming from southern European countries, for example, is much lower, the Volkskrant reports based on its own research.
The newspaper based its report on an anonymous interview with a Dutch man who worked for Facebook as moderator in Berlin last year, leaked emails, internal documents, and a colleague who supported his story. A Dutch team, which varies from five to eight people, works as Facebook moderators in Berlin.