Today, two ministers in the Dutch Rightist government have resigned.
They are Donner of Justice and Dekker of Construction.
They resign because an official report published today on the Schiphol fire which killed eleven refugees, is devastating for the government.
This is months after the whole government collapsed, and then continued as a minority coalition up to the elections of 22 November.
Why the hell is The Netherlands still stuck with those other worthless ministers?
From my Dear Kitty Modblog Google cache, from when that government still existed fully:
9/20/05 at 9:28PM
Mood: Looking Playing: Get up, Stand up, by Bob Marley
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende is often compared to Harry Potter.
Because of his looks. Certainly not because of his approval rate of only 19%.
Dutch economists say under Balkenende, the Dutch economy is the worst performer of Europe.
Balkenende is also despised for his obsequiousness to George W. Bush.
In the cartoon balloon, Balkenende asks: “Uncle George, are you going to tell me another fairy tale”?
On Saturday 24 September, worldwide day of anti Iraq war demonstrations, in The Hague in The Netherlands, peace demonstrators will be part of a big demonstration against the unpopular Balkenende administration, allies, or rather footmen, of George W. Bush.
Thousands of demonstrators will surround the government buildings.
Start at 1 pm around Binnenhof in The Hague.
Tonight, poetry and music night.
The presenter asked the audience: Who is your favourite minister?
Not one person had a favourite among the Balkenende lot.
The presenter asked: What is the best thing this government has done?
Replies: I can’t think of anything. And: Their best action would be if they’d resign.
Also from my Dear Kitty ModBlog of 24 September 2005, from the Google cache:
On Saturday 24 September, worldwide day of anti Iraq war demonstrations, in The Hague in The Netherlands, peace demonstrators were part of a big demonstration against the unpopular Balkenende administration, allies, or rather footmen, of George W. Bush.
Thousands of demonstrators surrounded the government buildings.
They had come from all over the country.
Here are the pictures of the demonstration.
Before the demonstration started, I asked the people of Rood, the youth organization of the Socialist Party, what was their main theme at this demonstration.
They (executive member Gijsbert Houtbeckers and another member) said: opposition to the increase in powers of the AIVD, the Dutch secret service.
These include asking libraries which books people borrow.
This way, the government sells out citizens’ privacy rights.
Big brother is watching you, especially if you have an Arab sounding family name.
Or … Ms. B borrowed the Q’uran from the city library … Now she may get on a government “terrorist list ” …
More or less the direction of the US Patriot Act.
Next to Rood was the stand of the Socialist Party itself. What is the main reason why you oppose the Balkenende administration?
One of two women there: because the Balkenende administration is anti solidarity. I live in a neighborhood in Rotterdam with people of various national origins getting along well. I don’t need politicians destroying that.
Her colleague: I am single, at minimum income level. With this government policy I’ll certainly be still 80 Euro a month worse off next year.
SP Senator Anja Meulenbelt walked around with a camera.
Her pictures are here.
At the next stand, I spoke to Huub Crijns from ‘s Hertogenbosch, a pro poor people activist. He said: Balkenende destroys solidarity, especially in health care.
In The Netherlands, we are going in the wrong direction: the direction of New Orleans, where they let poor people drown literally.
You see where Balkenende’s obsequiousness to Bush leads to.
At the next stand was Kroesje, an anti racist organization. One of their posters said: “I just Blair along for the sake of it” (the name Blair sounds similar to the Dutch verb: “blèren”, shouting off without thinking).
I asked the lady behind the counter if this was because of the recent British police measure of racially profiling Blacks and Asians.
She said: it was earlier, about Blair’s obsequiousness to Bush in the Iraq war. But it is still true.
Another Kroesje posters says: “Slavery. Just two senior citizens back in time”.
At the next stand, of trade union militants De Maat is vol, I spoke to Rotterdam dock workers. They had T-shirts with: Balkenende administration: economic terrorists.
Reggae music starts rally
A sign says: the people are fed up. Another slogan: Zalm [finance minister. Name means literally: “salmon”] and Bot [Foreign affairs minister. Literally “flounder”] belong in the water, not in the government.
On the Plein, the square facing the Dutch parliament building, the program started at 12:30, with the Channel One Band playing.
They are a reggae band of people of Surinam origin.
The singer, in a colourful dress with Bob Marley portrait printed on it, attacked Rich is getting richer, poor is getting poorer.
She said: I work in health care. It is a shame, the bad circumstances under which we are supposed to help aging people, with those government cutback policies.
At 13:10 there was the first speech by ex Amsterdam local councillor Rene Danen, of Platform Keer het Tij.
He said: polls say 80% of people do not trust this government. They got to resign.
They are bad for refugees. For the environment. For tenants.
Recently, at the commemoration of slavery in Amsterdam, the audience drove away Minister Rita Verdonk, infamous for her anti refugee policies.
They said: Go away! This, Danen said, goes for the whole government.
Then, there were interviews with Femke Bartels (Greenpeace) and Jonathan Mijs (Dutch students union).
Then, a speech by Jan Marijnissen, of the Socialist Party. He called for actions against the government’s health care “reform” plans.
After Marijnissen, author Marion Bloem told about her pro refugee activities. She said Minister Rita Verdonk was destructive like her hurricane fellow Rita in the USA.
However, hurricane Rita at least sometimes changes course. While Minister Rita stays the course (like George W. Bush). A disastrous course costing many human lives.
A sign in the audience said: No forced return of refugees to Afghanistan.
Rap and trade unionism
At 13:30 uur, there was rap music by Def Rhymz.
Sometimes, they shot jets of water into the audience, who ran some steps back laughing. The rappers also waved about a sign saying: George W. Bush, wanted for terrorism.
Next was a speech by Niek Stam, of De Maat is Vol (trade union rank and file).
He pointed out that 62% of Dutch voters had voted No to the pro “free market” European Union draft constitution.
According to public opinion polls, the majority of voters would vote for the three parties of the Left: PvdA [Labour], Green Left, and Socialist Party.
They should form a new government coalition to undo Balkenende’s bad policies.
Next was Kees Vendrik, MP for Green Left, who also wanted that new coalition.
Then, Astrid van Koppen, waging action for early elections now.
Then, Mohammed Rabbae, of anti racist organization Genoeg is Genoeg.
He said in the USA, poor black people were suffering from hurricane Rita.
In The Netherlands, we are suffering from Minister Rita Verdonk, who puts refugee children of two or six-year-old in jail.
She discriminates against people from the Antilles, though they have Dutch passports.
The Balkenende administration represents basically just George W. Bush. And terrorists who want to harm trust between various groups in society, Muslims and non-Muslims etc. The government does exactly what those terrorists want.
A sign linked Dutch Defense (war) Minister Kamp to Guantanamo.
At 14:00 the human chain around the parliament building started.
It was nearly one kilometer long:
At Korte Vijverberg, near the pond of the parliament building:
1. Amsterdam local political party Amsterdam Anders/Greens
2. Platform Stop Bolkestein’s plan for European Union anti worker policy
3. Turkish organization DHD
4. Philippines solidarity movement
5. Anti nuclear action
6. Senior citizens’ platform of the Socialist Party
7. Socialist Party
At Lange Vijverberg:
8. International Socialists
9. Together against Racism
10. Damokles students’ organization
11. Dutch Palestine Committee
12. Action against minister Verdonk’s xenophobic policies
13. Friends of the Earth The Netherlands
14. Tenants’ organization Amsterdam
15. ROOD (Socialist Party youth organization
16. Maximine: low income women’s organization
17. PvdA (Labour party)
18. Pro refugees organization Wageningen
At 19 were Women for Peace. I spoke to some of them. We are here, they said, to oppose the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We also opposing the Dutch government’s policy of recruiting child soldiers for so called “peace missions” abroad.
20. Comittee against mandatory ID cards
At 21. Greenpeace, drumming on “nuclear” oil drums
22. Refugees organization Prime
23. FAVON, Afghan refugees organization
At the Buitenhof:
24. Groenlinks, Green Left political party, and their youth organization DWARS
25. Platform Earth Farmers and Consumers, saying 44% of Dutch farmers’families are now below the official poverty line.
26. Families 4 Justice
27. Stop ill-treatment of prisoners
28. Communist Youth League
29. Platform of small share-owners swindled by Legiolease corporation
30. Platform Stop Xenophobia
31. Band Eigen Hulp
32. Keer het Tij Enschede
33. Party for Animals
34. ASKV, Support refugees
35. “Armoedzaaiers”, poor people’s organization
Back at the Plein
At the Plein stage, there was an impromptu interview with a six-year-old refugee boy.
He said Minister Verdonk wanted to send his family back to Afghanistan, to their deaths. There are many mines in Afghanistan.
He himself, born in The Netherlands, had never been to Afghanistan.
Conclusion: it would be better if this family could stay, and Verdonk would go away.
Def Rhymz’ show’s second part started. At first they sang with the help of a young girl in Socialist Party coat.
Also, the six-year-old Afghan refugee boy could join Def Rhymz on stage, being lifted high above their heads.
When he showed he could do break dancing, he got big applause.
Then, a speech by Bart Griffioen (IS). He wore a T-shirt saying: Fight poverty, not war.
He said: Balkenende is a follower of George W. Bush. Balkenende, jointly with Bush, you lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, as the pretext for war.
Next, Diederik Samsom (PvdA MP). He said the Balkenende government should be replaced by a government of the Left parties; and the Christenunie. That Christian party is considered by many people at least somewhat religiously fundamentalist; though not economically market fundamentalist like Balkenende.
Next spoke Henk Kroon, on behalf of poor people in Amsterdam. He said pro capitalist politicians make claims on “less bureaucracy” while giving poor people more bureaucracy.
Next, an Afghan refugee spoke.
He pointed out that the Dutch government recently had decided to send more soldiers to fight in war in Afghanistan.
However, Minister Verdonk claims Afghanistan is a safe country to send refugees back to. Really??
Next, Ahmed Pouri of refugees’ organization PRIME.
The last speech was by Fred Gersteling of the tenants’ organization. He called on people to join the 24 March 2006 demonstration against the anti tenants government policy.
At 15:30, the Channel One Band started playing reggae again, as the finale of the demonstration.
Again, from the Google cache, 9/4/05 :
September 4th, 2005
Antiwar Groups Hope to Pack 100,000 Around White House
By Petula Dvorak / Washington Post
From the Ellipse to Lafayette Square, including the streets and sidewalks in between, the public parks encircling the White House can hold about 100,000 people, according to the National Park Service.
Antiwar groups hope to bring that many people to fill the spaces with their rally Sept. 24, the first time in more than a decade that demonstrators will be allowed to surround the White House.
At a news conference yesterday, two major antiwar coalitions announced a demonstration and march that could be the largest since the Iraq war began, according to Bill Dobbs, a spokesman for United for Peace and Justice, one of the groups organizing three days of events.
The Park Service and the groups are negotiating the fine points of a permit, such as electrical cord routes and riser placement, but “in all likelihood,” the permit will be issued to the groups’ specifications, Park Service spokesman Bill Line said.
The rally has been in the works for months, but public sentiment about the war has soured, which has “marked a turning point for the antiwar movement,” said Brian Becker, national coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition, which is partnering with Dobbs’s group.
The response to the disaster in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina has fueled antiwar sentiment, because many believe the U.S. military presence in Iraq is “hampering efforts in New Orleans,” said Mounzer Sleiman, an independent political and military analyst working with ANSWER.
And antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan’s camp-out last month as she sought an audience with the president outside his Texas ranch spurred a level of support from military families that similar events have not had, said Leslie Cagan, an organizer with United for Peace and Justice.
U.S. veterans from generations of wars “are now speaking out loud and clear” against the war and are joining the peace movement, Cagan said.
The coalitions are organizing buses, vans and carpools from across the country and said groups are coming from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas, New York, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Florida and North Carolina.
Saturday 24 September is a world-wide day of protests against the Iraq war (some of them are also on Sunday 25 September).
The actions will be in many countries, including a big demonstration in London in Britain.
In the United States, there will be demonstrations in Washington, DC; San Fransisco; and Los Angeles.
In The Hague in The Netherlands, peace demonstrators on Saturday 24 March will be part of a big demonstration against the unpopular Balkenende administration, allies, or rather footmen, of George W. Bush.
Thousands of demonstrators will surround the government buildings. Start at 1 pm around Binnenhof in The Hague.