Noisy protest to be held during WWII commemoration on the 4th of May

Planned protest on 4th May

Geen 4 mei voor mij, an ‘anti-racism activist group’, has created a Facebook event, with plans to hold a noise protest during the WWII commemoration on Dam Square (Amsterdam) on 4th May. They have been campaigning (and complaining) in different ways for years about the commemoration of the dead. This means that during the 2-minute silence, they will ‘break the silence’ on Dam square. One reason for holding this demonstration (as described on their Facebook event), is because they feel that only white’s are commemorated. It does not take into consideration the ‘4 million killed in the Dutch West Indies’, yet 22,000 of the fallen in WWII are remembered.

This is not the first time unplanned noise has disturbed the commemoration 

In the event, Geen 4 mei voor mij quotes what National Remembrance Day is described as. It says that: “During the National Commemoration we commemorate the Dutch war victims. All – civilians and soldiers – who were killed or murdered in the Kingdom of the Netherlands or anywhere in the world since the outbreak of the Second World War, and then in war situations and in peace operations.” However, Geen 4 mei voor mij argues that this isn’t the case at all and therefore it is racist. 

The confusion around National Remembrance Day

This isn’t the first time National Remembrance Day has come under fire for ‘who should we remember?’ Over the years numerous debates and discussions has meant that nobody knows exactly WHO to remember any more. Do we remember everyone? Or do we keep it as it is? Do we update it, and include more recent events? Do we have different commemorations? Even us at DutchReview have discussed this in the past. In the end, there is always someone not happy with it and it causes a lot of friction (you only have to look on the event comments on Facebook to see that).

There is a time and a place for these demonstrations and understandably this really isn’t the time. In this case, a VVD Amsterdam city councilor (Marianne Poot) wants the mayor to ban the demonstration. This likely not going to happen yet, as the demonstration hasn’t been registered yet and they are still waiting to see what to do with the whole situation. An alternative was to move it from Dam square. So whether it goes ahead or not (or where), is yet to be known. 

What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to join our Facebook group, for more Dutch discussion :)

Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.



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