Aruban Mitch Henriquez killed, commemoration in The Hague


Silent march for Mitch Henriquez today

NOS TV writes that today in The Hague was the silent march to commemorate Aruban Mitch Henriquez, killed by police recently:

People participated in the march to support the surviving family and to protest against the violent arrest. Various participants said that police treats people of colour differently from whites, and that Mitch’ arrest is an example of that.

Thatcher government plans to deport Hong Kong people to Northern Ireland


This video from Mauritius says about itself:

Demonstration against UK occupation over Chagos

Event: Peaceful march
Date: Wednesday, 7 April, 2010
March co-ordinator: LALIT

To put on the agenda once again the original demands for full decolonization, the re-unification of Mauritius, for base closure and environmental clean-up, and for the right to return and reparations for all Chagossians. What this means is that the march is perhaps the beginning of a new long-term campaign that needs to be built up on these issues.

After the British Harold Wilson government deported all people forcibly from Diego Garcia island in the Chagos archipelago to give place to a United States military (and torture) base … after Wilson’s Conservative successors in the 1970s seriously discussed the possibility of ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Northern Ireland by driving all people opposed to the Great Britain-Northern Ireland union violently south across the six counties-twenty-six counties border (recalling the seventeenth century, when the English military said to the Irish people of Ulster: ‘To Connacht, or to hell!’), now this about the later Thatcher administration …

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thatcher files: Ministers considered Hong Kong relocation

Friday 3rd July 2013

THE government seems to have seriously considered a proposal for the entire population of Hong Kong to be shipped lock, stock and barrel to Northern Ireland, newly released documents show.

This hare-brained scheme was suggested during the height of the Troubles by Reading University lecturer Christie Davies, who asserted that when Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997 there would be no future for its 5.5 million inhabitants.

The alternative, he suggested, was to resettle them in a new “city state” to be established between Coleraine and Derry, revitalising the stagnant Northern Ireland economy.

Recently released National Archives files show that the idea sparked a flurry of correspondence in Whitehall.

When details appeared in October 1983, George Fergusson, an official in the Northern Ireland Office, sent a memorandum to a colleague in the Republic of Ireland department of the Foreign Office, declaring: “At this stage, we see real advantages in taking the proposal seriously.”

Among the benefits, he suggested, was that it would help convince the unionist population that the British government was committed to retaining Northern Ireland.

If this moronic scheme would have gone ahead, then it would have run into trouble from bigotry among the most fanatical of unionists in Northern Ireland. These are not just bigoted against pro-republican Northern Irish people. Or against Romanian people. Or against Jews. There is also nasty racism against people of Chinese ancestry there.

Dutch police chokehold death in The Hague


This video from New York City in the USA is called RIP Eric Garner VIDEO 2 – Staten Island man dies after NYPD cop puts him in chokehold.

The last words of New York City African American Eric Garner, while in an (illegal) police chokehold, were ‘I can’t breathe‘. Then, he died.

Unfortunately, it looks like The Hague city in the Netherlands now has its own Eric Garner-like lethal police violence case.

Mitch Henriquez, 42 years old, from Aruba island in the Caribbean, visited a music festival in The Hague as a tourist. As he left, four policemen grabbed him, and practiced a chokehold on him, until he did not move any more. A day later, on 28 June 2015, Mitch Henriquez was dead.

Mitch Henriquez and his son

Mitch Henriquez, before being arrested; and just before his death

At first, the public prosecutor claimed that Mr Henriquez had become ill while on his way in a police car to a police station.

This video, recorded on 27 June 2015, shows that Mr Henriquez was already not moving any more before being dragged into the police car.

This video is the sequel.

The blog of the The Hague anti-fascists writes about this:

Arubian man beaten to death by The Hague police

Yesterday (Saturday June 27, 2015), Hague police officers beat 42 year old Arubian Mitch Henriquez to death after the “Night in the Park” Festival in Zuiderpark in The Hague, the Netherlands. In a statement, the Prosecutor’s Officer (OM) stated that Henriquez began to feel unwell on the way to the police station. However, it is apparent from video footage that he was already unconscious or in a coma before he was thrown into the police bus without receiving any medical attention.

Witnesses said that Henriquez was making jokes with friends after the festival, when a group of officers tackled him. Henriquez fell into a coma, and died today at the hospital. According to bystanders and his family, police officers used a lot of force to arrest him. According to the “official” statement from the OM, Henriquez supposedly yelled that he had a weapon and then resisted arrest, leading to the use of force. Henriquez only began to feel unwell on the way to the police station. Eyewitnesses and a newly released video tell a completely different story. Henriquez was joking around with his friends, and was warned by the police and walked further. Lila also says that he was possibly being a bit loud and boisterous, but not toward the police.

The doctors from intensive care said that Henriquez clearly did not die from natural causes. His sister Lila said in an interview: “his head was completely swollen, he was mainly beaten on his head. How could someone be handcuffed, thrown in the car and then arrive black and blue and unable to breathe?” Henriquez’s sister wonders.

The The Hague police department has for years been at the center of many scandals because of (racist) police brutality. On November 24, 2012, 17 year old Rishi Chandrikasing was shot dead at Holland Spoor [railway] station as he ran away from the police. Racist police brutality is also a daily reality in the Schilderswijk and Transvaal neighborhoods in The Hague. In these neighborhoods, seemingly everybody knows somebody who has been a victim of police brutality, or even have even been victims themselves. Victims stated earlier to the local media: “I am often asked to show ID, for no reason. If I ask why, I get taken away and getting beaten up and abused in the police car. It continues at the station. They threw me into the cell and beat me while I was still handcuffed. Afterwards, they sprayed me with the fire hose and left me for the whole night soaking wet in the cell.” Even ex-officers speak of a culture of violence and racism in the police unit. These are only a few examples of the racist and violent culture of the police in The Hague, which has always been denied and covered up by police top brass and Hague mayor Jozias van Aartsen.

Man dies in hospital following brutal arrest by Dutch police: here.

Mitch Henriquez was a member of the Aruban opposition political party MEP. Arubans, both in Aruba and in the Netherlands, are deeply shocked.

This 29 June video from The Hague shows a big demonstration, including bikers, protesting against the death of Mitch Henriquez.

Dutch Socialist Party members of parliament Nine Kooiman and Michiel van Nispen suspect that the public prosecutor lied; and they have asked the government questions about this today.

This punk rock music video from England says about itself:

Angelic Upstarts – The Murder of Liddle Towers

Classic debut single from the Upstarts, championing the cause of the Birtley boxer who died after a night in a police cell.

Charleston, USA massacre, Confederate flag, animated cartoon


This animated cartoon video by Mark Fiore from the USA says about itself:

Last week’s horrific shooting at the “Mother Emanuel” church in South Carolina underscored America’s terrible racist past, not to mention present. While it’s all well and good the Confederate flags are starting to come down, that is the easiest choice imaginable from the toxic menu of racism, hatred and guns.

If only racism and gun-toting white supremacists would disappear with the removal of the Stars and Bars from government grounds and major retailers. I’m happy to see the bandwagon of politicians who used to support the display of the Confederate flag getting bigger every day.  Some of these guys were using the “heritage” defense of the flag just last week, then calling for its removal this week.

Thanks to the none-too-brave Nikki Haley, Republicans are tripping over themselves to defuse this potentially damaging campaign issue.  (Never mind that the current Majority Whip in the United States House of Representatives has his own history of hanging out with white supremacists and he seems to be doing just fine.)  Unfortunately, the racist past and present of the United States will be haunting us for a long time to come, but at least we won’t be able to buy a Confederate flag at Walmart.  (These are still on sale, however.)  Enjoy the cartoon, feel free to help the victims and the community most impacted by this tragedy.  And, as usual, be sure to check out the news behind the cartoon.

USA: Store owner who says Confederate flag doesn’t represent racism, revealed to have family ties to Ku Klux Klan: here.

This sudden rush to take down symbols of racism and slavery that the American political establishment has kept in place for decades is a defensive response to an outpouring of public horror over the Charleston killings and popular hostility to racism. This powerful reaction has taken the political establishment and both parties by surprise, forcing them to reckon with vast changes in popular consciousness of a broadly democratic character, particularly in the South: here.

ANOTHER BLACK CHURCH CATCHES FIRE South Carolina’s Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church is the seventh predominantly black church to catch fire since the Charleston shooting. Investigators have yet to label the fire an act of arson. [Andrew Hart, HuffPost]

Dutch royal family anti-Semitism?


This video says about itself:

Amsterdam “The City That Remembers”

22 May 2013

This DVD is digitally converted from the original broadcast tape master of a 30 minute documentary which I produced in Holland in 1997. This is a very personal project with one simple objective: to pass along to future generations awareness of the horrors of Nazi Germany’s systematic genocide in WWII … knowledge so easily lost and forgotten unless we keep it alive. After you have viewed this DVD, I hope you will place it in a school, library, church, synagogue, or other permanent place where it will be shown and viewed again and again for decades to come.

The idea for producing this documentary grew from my many trips to Amsterdam and the urging from a close friend there, Harry Moinat, that I interview Jewish survivors of the Dutch Holocaust before they all died. The more I learned the more I had to tell inspiring Amsterdam’s story of resistance and determination.

Harry introduced me to a contemporary of Anne Frank, Jaap van Velzen, who was just 12 years old when he escaped from his Nazi captors by brazenly slipping away from a kindergarten where he and other children were being held awaiting shipment to the death camps. After his escape he hid in the south of the Netherlands till war’s end. He was the only member of his family to survive. Jaap later became a successful businessman and noted scholar regarding the Dutch Holocaust.

His childhood recollections are woven into this portrait of the systematic roundup of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally impaired and their shipment out of Amsterdam using the city’s own streetcars to deliver them at night to waiting Nazi freight cars at Amsterdam’s central train station. From there they were shipped to Westerbork concentration camp before being sent on to their deaths at Auschwitz and other German death camps.

I wrote, shot, edited and narrated this documentary to share with you an understanding of why Amsterdam is truly “The City That Remembers.”

Larry M. Ray

Translated from the Nieuw Israelitisch Weekblad (NIW) in the Netherlands:

June 26, 2015

Press Release: Jewish students removed in 1951 from the princesses’ school classes

With knowledge of Queen Juliana in 1951, Jewish students were preventively removed from classes at the Nieuwe Baarnsche School where the princesses Margriet and Irene were placed. This emerges from an article by historian Bart Wallet in the Nieuw Israelitisch Weekblad published today.

The initiative to remove Jewish students came from “a certain circle of [elite] Baarn town residents’, with the knowledge of Queen Juliana. The parents of the removed Jewish students approached the royal court. After that, Juliana in response stated that “the royal dynasty of Orange are not anti-Semitic.” Ultimately, the issue disappeared under the carpet.

The article was written by prominent historian Bart Wallet. He is research leader in religious history at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He got exclusive access to archives, including the Royal Archives, the archives of the Dutch Jewish Congregation and various private archives.

NIW editor Maurice Swirc declares: “This is a potentially explosive history, especially since it took place six years after the Shoah. Further research will have to establish the exact chain of events. But for Jewish people in the Netherlands the attitude of Juliana – at least – causes questioning.”

The Jewish community has always been very pro-royal dynasty. Until today in the synagogue services there are standard prayers for the royal family.

Questions by the NIW to the Nieuwe Baarnsche School – to which the article had been made available beforehand – did not get any answers.