Ringing young peregrine falcons in Amsterdam

This May 2018 video is about ringing two young peregrine falcons by Jos Blankenburg at their nest on a high-rise building in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Starling imitates trolley case

This 13 April 2018 video is about a starling near Amsterdam central station in the Netherlands. The bird imitates the sound of trolley cases rolling along on the pavement near the station.

Ingeborg Seelemann made this video.

Stop repression in Catalonia, Amsterdam demonstration 14 April

This video says about itself:

Police brutality on Catalonia independence referendum (01/10/2017)

Images of police repression today in Sant Iscle de Vallalta, a tiny 1200 people village close to Barcelona.

From Facebook, about a demonstration, Saturday 14 April, 2 pm at the Dam square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands:

Stand up for democracy and human rights! Solidarity with the Catalans!

The Spanish repression of Catalans gets worse by the day. In the meantime, nine Catalan MPs and activists have already been arrested. Without ever using violence, they are accused of ‘violent revolt’. On the weekend of the demonstration, two leaders of the Catalan movement will have been jailed for no reason already for six months.

In recent months more than 1,500 people were injured by the Spanish authorities and the only crime was that they wanted to vote, 150 fascist attacks took place in Catalonia, 140 websites were taken off the Internet, police attacked journalists, critical rappers were sentenced to prison and committees in which local residents gather to defend their right of self-determination are being criminalized. Whether you are against or for independence, this undermining of democracy and human rights must stop!

Member states of the EU refuse to condemn the Spanish state and are cooperating in the extradition of political prisoners. Earlier, the EU also put democracy aside in Greece by pushing through its draconian austerity policy. From Barcelona to Athens and Amsterdam we speak out this weekend in solidarity with the Catalans.

Defend democracy and human rights!
Freedom for the Catalan political prisoners!
For the right of self-determination!

The extradition case of former Catalan Education Minister, Clara Ponsatí, comes to court today in Edinburgh, Scotland for a preliminary hearing: here.

Wildlife in Amsterdam city, film review

This December 2017 video is the trailer of Dutch film De wilde stad.

The Internet Movie Data Basa says about it:

The city [Amsterdam] from the unique perspective of the many wild animals and plants that inhabit it. Seen through the eyes of the adventurous urban cat, Abatutu.

I went to see that film on 25 March 2018.

The movie shows, eg, red squirrels in parks. They can cross dangerous streets between parks by wildlife bridges. When the squirrels eat nuts, some nuts fall down from the trees. We then see how a wood mouse eats such nuts.

Many swifts nest in Amsterdam. Swift couples nest together for life. The film records how a male and a female swift meet again at the nest after migration from Africa, and warmly greet each other.

We also see young ring-necked parakeets at their nest in a hole in a tree.

And young Egyptian geese. And coots, building nests in the Amsterdam canals with twigs, plastic and flowers. And peregrine falcons nesting on high rise buildings.

And red swamp crayfish, invasive animals from North America.

Red foxes, rats and gulls profit from garbage. So do grey herons, which have a big colony in local Artis zoo.

There are many bees in Amsterdam, as there are more flowers now in the city than in ‘agribusiness’ countryside.

Grey heron in Dutch local election

Tomorrow, 21 March 2018, Dutch voters will vote in the Big Brother referendum on governmental Internet spying on citizens; and in local authority elections.

This 19 March 2018 photo shows a grey heron at the office of the Party for the Animals in Amsterdam. Did the bird come to say Don’t forget me?

Dutch new film on 1961

This Dutch video is the trailer of the new film Het Leven is Vurrukkulluk. Which means ‘Life is wonderful’, but with an unusual spelling for the Dutch word ‘verrukkelijk’. I went to see the film on 4 February 2018.

The film is about one day in the year 1961, in around the Vondelpark in Amsterdam city. In 1961, Remco Campert published his novel with the same title, on which the film is based.

Dutch director Frans Weisz, 23 years old in 1961, wanted to make Het Leven is Vurrukkulluk his first film. He wrote a script, jointly with Campert. But filming did not go ahead then: money problems. Instead, Weisz’ first film became Het Gangstermeisje (A Gangstergirl), in 1966, based on another novel by Campert.

The Internet Movie Database summary of Het Leven is Vurrukkulluk says:

Life Is Wonderful is a feel-good movie about love and longing. Best friends Mees and Boelie are spending a beautiful spring day in Amsterdam’s Vondelpark. It seems like just a normal day, until they meet the young and attractive Panda. While the heat rises in the park, it’s nowhere to be found between the long-married couple Etta and Ernst-Jan. Ernst-Jan suspects Etta of cheating and has his own ideas of how to catch her in the act. We also meet Rosa and Kees, old lovers whose paths cross after decades of not seeing each other. On this spring day in Amsterdam, their love starts blooming again.

A film review by Rob Lubbersen remarks that there are anachronisms in the film. Tattoos, mobile phones, Segway transporters: these did not exist in Amsterdam in 1961. Ring-necked parakeets did not live in the Vondelpark in 1961. They do now; one hears their calls in the film. Why the anachronisms? asks Lubbersen. Because Frans Weisz did not have the budget to transform the 2017 Vondelpark into the 1961 Vondelpark? Other reviewers say this expresses the idea that, while the main characters still live in 1961, their surroundings have become 2017. This, they say, is faithful to the poetic imagery in the book by Campert; who is not only a novelist but a poet as well.

In the film, teenage girl character Panda refers to the war for Algerian independence from France then. Though France like the Netherlands was a NATO member state, there was sympathy for Algerian independence among anti-colonialist people in the Netherlands. On 13 December 1959, the Dutch broadcasting organisation VPRO had a television charity marathon to help Algerian refugee children who had fled to Morocco. Right-wing Dutch Foreign Minister Joseph Luns, ex-member of the Dutch nazi party, and later NATO general secretary, opposed this: western new Guinea was then still a Dutch colony, and Luns wanted French support to keep it that way. Nevertheless, the pro-Algerian children show became the first Dutch TV charity marathon.

In the film. Panda says she will take the night train from Amsterdam to Paris, together with her lover, an Algerian independence fighter. From Paris, they plan to go further south, to Algeria, to join the freedom fight.

Frans Weisz is from a Jewish family. The nazis murdered his father at Auschwitz. His mother survived Auschwitz, because, she said ‘she so desperately wanted to see Frans again’. Frans survived the war in hiding.

Frans Weisz’ son Géza plays the 1961 twenty-something Boelie role in the film. Remco Campert plays Boelie later, in his eighties.

There are differences between the film and the book. Eg, in the novel, there are references to the World War II past of some characters; not so in the film. Also, in the book, Boelie, Mees and Panda beat and rob an old man; in the film just Panda throws him into the water. The name of the old man is Kees Bakels. He is the main character in the 1923 novel Kees de Jongen, by Dutch socialist author Theo Thijssen. Thijssen’s book describes Kees as an 1890s working class boy in his early teens, who falls in love with the girl Rosa Overbeek. Towards the end the film, Panda brings Kees and Rosa, now seniors, together again, after they had not seen each other for decades.

Mees in one of the final scenes, at a party, sees a stuntman jump off a balcony with an umbrella as parachute; and suddenly feels happy (wonderful).

Remco Campert last words in the film are that the two male main characters never saw Panda again. Her ‘Algerian freedom fighter’ lover turns out to be fake, neither Algerian nor freedom fighter.

Pauline Kleijer writes in a review that it is a pity that Panda in the book has interesting things to say; while as the film role she is a cliché pretty teenage girl. Weisz himself has a different view, considering Panda the real heroine of the story.

In the last images of the film, Remco Campert walks away from the Vondelpark bench where he had been sitting, telling about the past.

Anti-racist demonstration, Amsterdam 18 March

This video from the Netherlands is called Anti Racism Demonstration – Amsterdam 22 March 2014.

Translated from AT5, the local broadcaster of Amsterdam, the Netherlands:

Various political parties and action groups will demonstrate on March 18 at the Dam square. They want to warn against … ‘racist parties’ like the PVV [of Geert Wilders] and Forum for Democracy [of Thierry Baudet. Baudet and French Jean-Marie Le Pen: here].

The [59] organizations have joined forces under the name Committee 21 March. That is not only the day of the municipal elections

and of the referendum about the government’s plan to attack Internet privacy by legalizing spying on all citizens

, but also the international day against racism. ‘No racists in the municipal councils’ is the slogan of the movement.

Refugees, Muslims and others serve as scapegoats for existing socio-economic problems. We want to warn against the growing influence of the extreme right. If nothing is done against normalizing of racism, then it will only grow’, says spokeswoman Saida Derrazi. She thinks that the Amsterdam leader of the Forum for Democracy, Annabel Nanninga, has made racist statements in the past. …

The kickoff of the committee last night was in the Emir Sultan mosque, where a decapitated doll was left behind last week by an extreme right-wing group.

Among the 59 organisations in this coalition are, eg, the Amsterdam Women’s March, the international relations committee of the FNV trade union federation, and the political parties PvdA, Socialist Party and GroenLinks.

REFUGEES ARE WELCOME HERE! – 10,000 march against racism in London: here.