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.
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.
Rob Bleumink, school director of primary school De Boomhut in Arnhem, received several threats after he announced his intention to no longer allow blackface Zwarte Piet at his school. Hundreds of people verbally attacked and threatened him online, AD reports.
DENK politician Sylvana Simons thinks that football analyst Johan Derksen should attend a discrimination course so he can realize the effect his comments have. In an open letter she addresses comments Derksen made on Voetbal Inside on Monday comparing her to a monkey.
Football analyst Johan Derksen compared DENK politician Sylvana Simons to a monkey during a broadcast of Voetbal Inside on Monday night. While talking about RTL's decision to replace blackface Zwarte Piet with so-called Chimney Piet, he said that the only downside is that "hysterical miss Simons will run through the country as proud as a monkey", AD reports.
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."
The Discrimination Hotline for the Amsterdam region is calling on people to report cases of discrimination, harassment and racism during the Sinterklaas season, NOS reports.
According to the Hotline, the “controversial figure of Zwarte Piet”, annually causes situations to get out of hand at school, work and other public places. The Hotline is consciously choosing to actively participate in the debate on what Zwarte Piet should look like.
The Hague should follow the lead of kids' show Sinterklaasjournaal when it comes to what Zwarte Piet will look like at Sinterklaas' arrival in the city, Mayor Jozias van Aartsen will advise the organizers of the arrival
The court acquitted anti-Zwarte Piet activist Jerry Afriyie on Thursday. Afriyie was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer during a violent protest in Gouda two years ago
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
Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer received "dozens of threats" following a report she released on Zwarte Piet on Friday. She reported the threats to the police and is pressing charges
Support for blackface makeup on Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet is steadily declining, though the vast majority is still in favor of it. In Maurice d e Hond's latest political poll 21 percent of Dutch indicated that it is time for Zwarte Piet to change, compared to less than 10 percent three years ago.
Zwarte Piet in his current for is in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, says Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer. According to her, the figure of Zware Piet can contribute to bullying, exclusion or discrimination. He must therefore be adapted in such a way tht no children experience negativity in the Sinterklaas festival
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
The Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, nearly unanimously rejected the PVV's legislative proposal to make blackface makeup for Zwarte Piet mandatory. Many parties did so rather mockingly. The SP, for example, wanted to know why the PVV did not get Sinterklaas' advice on their bill, Joop reports.
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