Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Dutch solidarity

Rene Heusden and his children Sarah and Maya, photo by Arjen van der Horst / NOS

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

‘These protests will continue for a long time ‘

Today, 19:23

Thousands of Americans have gathered this morning in Washington DC to protest against excessive police violence and mistreatment of black citizens.

It’s not just Americans who stand on the barricades. Dutch people like René Heusden are demonstrating as well. Together with his children Sarah and Maya he went early to the US capital.

For his family, it is important to be there. “I’m married to an African-American woman and I have two African-American children. We are very shocked about what happened at various places throughout the country in recent weeks.”

Heusden sees in his daily life how the police act against his wife and children. “Certainly my wife still avoids certain states. We never travel feeling happily to the south of the United States. If we go to Alabama or Mississippi chances are that we will be stopped along the road sooner than normally. Certainly the aggressiveness with which the police act towards you, is very different from in the Netherlands.”

For Heusden and his family, this protest is about much more than police violence against black Americans. “It’s about jobs, it’s about education. We should just get rid of poverty in neighborhoods. It’s been on the political agenda for a long time, but we just make little progress.”

Heusden realizes that change is slow, but he is hopeful. With all the protests of the past weeks, he feels that the movement which has been calling for reform is gaining momentum.

“It is unfortunate that we go into the winter. If this would have happened in the summer this kind of protest actions would attract even more people. But this will not just pass, this will go on for a long time.”

New York Protest 2014: Thousands March Through Manhattan To Rally Against Police Violence: here.

MANY TENS of thousands of people took to the streets December 13 in New York City, Washington D.C., and others cities in a powerful demonstration that the movement against police violence and lawlessness is only growing larger and stronger: here.

In New York, at least 50,000 gathered at Washington Square Park and marched through the streets of Manhattan. In Washington, DC, as many as 25,000 participated in a protest that far exceeded the expectations of the organizers, including the National Action Network: here.

Ferguson, Missouri – While controversy about the police killing of teenager Michael Brown has been the primary focus in Ferguson this year, the city’s government is also facing a massive budget crisis, which they are hoping to solve by ordering their police officers to write more tickets. Many residents in Ferguson have already pointed out that once this policy is implemented, it will strain the already high tensions between the community and the police: here.

USA: Cop who threatened anti-police protesters with his ‘God given and law appointed right to kill you’ is suspended. Officer Phillip White tweeted ‘I will use my God given and law appointed duty to kill you’. He continued: ‘By the way if anyone feels they can’t breathe or their lives matter I’ll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun’: here.

11 thoughts on “Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Dutch solidarity

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