Dutch refugees’ solidarity with Iraq protests


Iraqi refugees' solidarity demonstration with protests in Iraq, in The Hague, the Netherlands, photo by NOS

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Around 300 people demonstrated against the Iraqi government at the Iraqi embassy in The Hague. They wanted to talk to the ambassador, but he didn’t come out.

The protesters left a list at the embassy with ‘goals’ to improve life in Iraq. They think that the successive governments have not done much for the common people. The demonstration went without incident.

Restless

In Iraq it has been restless for days because of protests. As a result of the lethal intervention by ‘forces of order’ nearly 100 people were killed and more than 4000 people wounded since Tuesday, the Iraqi section of the UN Human Rights Commission reports. Protesters were also killed today.

Young people in particular take to the streets to demonstrate against unemployment, corruption and the lack of social services.

The Iraqi demonstrators oppose not only the government but also media like the Saudi government’s al-Arabiya.

Dutch right-wing politicians suspects of corruption


Dutch The Hague right-wing alderman Richard de Mos, now a corruption suspect

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Police raid against aldermen in The Hague on suspicion of bribery and corruption

In the city hall of The Hague, the National Criminal Investigation Department is searching the offices of two aldermen and the workplaces of a number of civil servants. The investigation focuses on official corruption, bribery and violation of official secrecy.

These alderman are Richard de Mos and Rachid Guernaoui. The former is alderman for Economy, Sports and Outdoor Space and in addition 1st deputy mayor, Guernaoui is alderman for Finance, Integration and Districts. They are suspected of, eg, arranging permits for businessmen against payment.

Both aldermen are members of the political party Groep de Mos / Heart for The Hague.

That party is a result of a quarrel, and then a split, in Geert Wilders‘ xenophobic PVV party. De Mos was originally elected as a PVV MP and local councilor. He is a global warming denialist.

Dozens of dertectives

The homes of the aldermen and the addresses of three entrepreneurs in The Hague who are suspected of bribery are also being searched. An examining magistrate from the Rotterdam District Court is in charge of the searches. Dozens of government investigators and two prosecutors are also taking part in the campaign.

One of the suspect businessmen was an election candidate for the De Mos / Heart for The Hague party. He allegedly financially supported the party in exchange for, eg, confidential information from the city council. In addition, a party council member is suspected of being involved in official corruption.

The situation around the chambers of The Hague parties in the city hall was ‘frozen’ this morning, reports Omroep West broadcasting organisation. Council members and group staff from other parties were not allowed to walk past the chamber of Groep de Mos / Heart for The Hague. Furthermore, they were not allowed to take mail from their mailboxes.

Big Dutch pro-climate strike today


This 27 September 2019 video is about the big demonstration by Dutch pro-climate strikers in The Hague today.

The video is by Teachers for Climate in the Netherlands.

Many thousands of people more than expected joined the march. This caused police to move the final rally from the Koekamp field to the bigger Malieveld field.

Racism in Dutch police, whistleblowers silenced


This video from the USA says about itself:

Eric Garner Video Sparks Backlash Over Police Brutality And Racism

Eric Garner, an unarmed African-American man, died after NYPD officers put him in an apparent choke hold on July 17, 2014. Video of the incident has gone viral, sparking outrage over yet another incident of police brutality against a person of color. People have used #EricGarner, #JusticeForEricGarner and #RIPEricGarner.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Whistleblowers at the police in The Hague no longer felt safe

The officers who reported abuses at the police station on the Hoefkade in The Hague left for another police station. Some did it voluntarily, others no longer felt safe there, says Jan Struijs, chairman of the Dutch Police Association, in the NOS Radio 1 Journal.

Struijs has recently had conversations with people from the Schilderswijk office and calls the examples of discrimination by police officers and excessive violence “horrifying.” Yesterday it was announced that there was a sick culture at the police station in The Hague. Sources tell the NOS that there have been several incidents involving excessive force against detainees, after which an attempt was made to cover it up. It involves four to eight officers.

Silent culture

There is an internal investigation into the state of affairs. “The investigation takes far too long. The first reports to managers are more than a year old”, said the trade unionist. “As a result, there is now big silence. People do not dare to speak out or they will see: if you report, then you can get into serious trouble.”

A targeted approach is not forthcoming. Struijs cites the example of a police commissioner at the Hoefkade who clearly said that it should be finished: ‘we do not tolerate discrimination and intimidation. My door is always open’. “And then she leaves three weeks later to do another job, while she knew that there are major problems at this station.” Struijs does not know whether she left voluntarily or not. …

The police association receives reactions from all over the country to the story about the The Hague officers. Police feel the impact of the accusation of discrimination and violence and are called to account by the public.

The police association is urging that more people should be put on the investigation so that it can be completed quickly. “We have to learn from this. What creates such a culture? Why do people not dare to report? Why are people being bullied? We should do all we can.”

Pro-refugee anti-NATO action in Dutch The Hague


Activists at the NATO building in The Hague, the Netherlands, photo Robert Bas

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Activists demonstrate at NATO against ‘Fortress Europe‘, 17 arrested

Six activists were arrested this morning at the NATO and the TNO [military] research institute building in The Hague. Eleven others were arrested on the roof of the NATO building in the afternoon.

The bookkeeper in this The Hague NATO headquarters was from the 1950s till the 1970s Joop Glimmerveen. He had been a soldier in the Korean war. There, he met fellow soldiers, Dutch war criminal members of Hitler’s SS. They had lost their Dutch nationality after World War II. They could get that nationalty back by ‘fighting bolshevism’ in Korea, like they had ‘fought bolshevism’ in the Soviet Union in the 1940s. They convinced fellow soldier Glimmerveen of their fascist ideas.

Ever since the 1970s, Glimmerveen for decades was the Fuehrer of the Nederlandse Volks-Unie, the Dutch anti-immigrant and pro-Hitler party.

The activists are from the No Border Camp group, part of the left-wing, autonomous No Border Network. They oppose European and Dutch migration policy, which they believe is inhumane, and “militarizes borders and contributes to reasons why people must flee“. According to them, both NATO and TNO are involved in that.

The group had climbed the roof of the NATO building to hang a banner with the text “No person is illegal.”

A slogan, originally from Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

One of the banners on the NATO roof in this video says, translated: Migrants die because of NATO.

These two banners say, translated: From the sea to Yemen, NATO kills.

There were about fifty to sixty activists in front of the fences of the building.

“TNO research institute is one of the largest recipients of EU grants for research into and development of new border security technologies“, the group writes in a press release. “The walls of Fortress Europe are getting higher, rescue operations from aid organizations are being thwarted and refugees are being locked up and deported.” …

On Thursday, protests took place at the Red Cross, Friday at employment agency Otto Work Force and Saturday at a detention center in Rotterdam, where asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal remedies are awaiting their deportation.

At the Red Cross, flyers were distributed to employees because the aid organization cooperates with Airbus, the sixth largest arms company in the world. According to the activists, the cooperation between the two is “primarily intended to polish up the image of an arms company“. The action at employment agency Otto was to draw attention to the “precarious” circumstances of mainly Polish workers in the Netherlands.

Dutch Mauritshuis museum and its slave-trading founder


This 2015 video from the Netherlands says about itself:

The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague houses a world-famous collection from the Dutch Golden Age. At the unique 17th-century palace you can make the acquaintance of “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Vermeer, “The Goldfinch” by Fabritius and “The Anatomy Lesson” by Rembrandt. The Mauritshuis is a unique opportunity to see world-famous paintings by the Dutch Masters at one of Holland’s most beautiful locations.

This 2 April 2019 Dutch The Hague regional TV video says about itself (translated):

Mauritshuis organizes exhibition about the image of [Count, later: Prince] John Maurice

Is John Maurice good or not? That is the question that inadvertently arose when the bust of the founder of the Mauritshuis was removed from the museum in The Hague last year. The new exhibition Shifting Image (In search of John Maurice) will kick off on Thursday morning an extensive historical investigation into the past of the Field Marshal.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today (quoting the same people as in the regional TV video):

In the history books, Maurice, who lived from 1604 to 1679, is usually presented as a hero. Yet he is not undisputed. This is mainly due to his past as a governor in Brazil.

Slave trade

The Mauritshuis itself writes on its site: “In terms of art history, the museum has always emphasised his importance to art, architecture and science. But Johan Maurits’s life story is also part of Dutch colonial history, particularly its role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. …

This raises the question as to the extent we do justice to Johan Maurits’s Brazilian story if it we overemphasise the art-historical perspective. After all, he was the governor who in 1637 sent a fleet of warships to West Africa’s Gold Coast, present-day Ghana. The capture of the Portuguese-built Elmina Castle boosted the Dutch West India Company’s trading position in that area. Some years later, the island of São Tomé and part of the Angolan coast were also captured from the Portuguese – likewise on Johan Maurits’s orders – in order to increase Dutch trade in enslaved Africans. Thousands of men, women and children were shipped to Brazil. Johan Maurits personally owned dozens of enslaved people who lived and worked at his Brazilian court.”

This blog wrote earlier on this:

The new Dutch [slave] owners [in Brazil] found out that in order to maximize sugar profits, they had to import extra slaves from Africa.

To make that possible, they conquered the important Portuguese slave export port Luanda in Angola.

That made the Dutch major players in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which they had not been until then.

In this way, war begot slavery, and slavery begot war.

The NOS article continues:

According to historian Erik Odegard, who is leading the research, the focus will be on: “It is now clear that he personally played a role in the slave trade. Only we do not yet know exactly how large his share was or how many people it was. How much money did he make with it?”

John Maurice of Nassau-Siegen was born in Germany in 1604. He was a ruler in Nassau, Germany, field marshal in Dutch service and governor-general of Dutch Brazil.

That colony consisted of an area on the coast. There was a profitable sugar industry that depended on the labour of enslaved Africans. It was the first large plantation colony of the Dutch Republic.

After his return from Brazil, he moved into the Mauritshuis – then known as the Sugar Palace – in The Hague. He had already commissioned the construction in 1633. He housed his natural history and ethnological collection there.

46 experts made written contributions to the exhibition. From their own perspectives, they write how they view the past and the legacy of Maurice.

For example, Ashaki Leito (champion for the position of black women) is very happy with the portrait Two African men by Rembrandt van Rijn: “If you look at the other paintings, blacks are depicted as servants or slaves. But these are just two black men who have the right to be there.”

Rembrandt, Two African men

Criminal, murderer, villain

But Leito’s verdict on Maurice is anything but mild. She says to Omroep West regional broadcasting organisation: “Everyone can decide for themselves what they think of him. But I think he’s a criminal, a murderer, a villain. Someone we shouldn’t worship, but tell the right story about.”

Although slavery is therefore inextricably linked to Dutch Brazil, this is hardly reflected in the perception of John Maurice, writes the Mauritshuis.

“The governor of the colony has traditionally been commemorated for his love of art, architecture and science – and for his governance, which allowed a remarkable degree of religious freedom.”

Most slave owners in Dutch Brazil were Roman Catholic Portuguese. Making Roman Catholics second class inhabitants like then in the Dutch republic would endanger losing north-east Brazil to the Portuguese again.

Big Dutch strike against education austerity


This 15 March 2019 Dutch video is about over 40,000 people demonstrating yesterday, in spite of storm and rain, on the Malieveld in The Hague.

They were teachers on general strike. Not just striking primary school teachers and secondary school teachers; also university teachers. And students as well.

In this video, students explain why they support the striking teachers.

And parents.

On this video, Jeroen de Glas, father of schoolchildren, addresses the rally.

This video shows Mr De Glas’ complete speech.

This is another video on the The Hague rally.

And yet another video.

And another one.

They protested against the right-wing government‘s cuts on education leading to overworked teachers.

The government claimed yesterday that they cannot spend more on education as they also have to spend on defence wars.

This is another video on the 15 March protest. It starts with a teacher with a sign depicting right-wing Prime Minister Rutte with a dunce cap on his head.

Another sign says: Are only rich people allowed to become smart?

The Hague was not the only education protest yesterday. This video is about Gorinchem town.

Dutch pro-climate march has started


These tweets show that the pro-climate march today by striking high school students in The Hague, the Netherlands, has started.