The right to demonstrate endangered

First thing I saw this morning when I checked my email, was an article in the Dutch Christian newspaper Trouw (unfortunately behind a paywall). It said that Amnesty International had issued a new report on the right to demonstrate for freedom and democracy. This right is clearly endangered, Amnesty said, by far too much police intervention and police violence against civilians. Now if you think Amnesty International is our friend, just wait a little drawing too hasty conclusions.

I found the article in a few more news outlets already, but nowhere was a link to be found to the report on Amnesty’s website. How can I mention a report if I can’t find it anywhere? Even Google wouldn’t help me find it and it took me almost half an hour. But … I have it for you and it’s here: Amnesty International Demonstratierecht, because it’s a report about the Netherlands and yes it consecutively is written in the Dutch language. I will still write in English about it, because this issue needs to be tackled urgently. The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is always very shocked when his country comes in the news with something embarassing, so that is what I will write! It’s the only way to maybe achieve some positive change here in the Low Lands.


There is something I am really happy about and I do hope political parties in the Netherlands will pick it up: Amnesty announces on Twitter that it is sending action teams to different municipalities in the country to discuss how to amend the law. They have formulated 24 action points. If you open the tweets, you can have them translated into English (as you probably know). There is also a petition you can sign for demonstration rights, because this is an international issue. Here you find the petition.



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Anti-terrorism organisation NCTV follows activists

I don’t know if you have remarked that the Dutch NCTV – Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding en Veiligheid or national coordinating instance for terrorism control and safety – was caught a few months ago collecting data about people who are active for all kinds of different causes. Kick Out Zwarte Piet was followed, but also someone who fights for more rights for people who are looking for a house and an attorney who took it up for a school student about wearing a head scarf. This is completely forbidden by law and there is an organisation which does have the right to follow people if strictly needed: the BVD or Dutch secret services. Watch the video which undertitled in English.




Amnesty talks about removing journalists from demonstrations, but doesn’t mention that journalists almost never report objectively about demonstrations for democracy.

Journalists not reporting objectively

There is also something I am less enthusiastic about. You can find it in the Amnesty report on page 66, see the excerpt here to your right. Amnesty states that journalists are often not admitted to demonstrations by the police, but “forgets” to mention that most journalists don’t report objectively or not at all about demonstrations for freedom and democracy. I ask myself if they really forgot it or if they don’t care about lying and covering-up media outlets.

Leftist Asha ten Broeke has the fullest right to call for demolishing gasoline stations and occupying the Parliament …


Double standards

The largest problem is the fact that people who demonstrate for more democratic rights aren’t protected, are they? Leftist movements such as KOZP,  or Black Lives Matter are always protected, their demonstrations are lovingly covered in the media and no-one ever utters any criticism about them, no matter if they glue themselves to buildings and even highways or if they burn down cars and shops. But if farmers, who without any reason are being chased from their land, block the roads after the government hasn’t heard them for months, hell breaks loose. Amnesty doesn’t say even one word about this injustice.

Here I have a recent example of such an event. Columnist and extreme leftist Asha ten Broeke calls for people to demolish gasoline stations, to occupy the Parliament or to block an oil refinery. No-one blames her for calling for violence, even if she wrote this in one of the largest Dutch newspapers De Volkskrant. About the gluing actions by organisations like Urgenda or the British JustStopOil the media have nothing but soothing words to make their audience understand the poor people that want even harder action for the “climate” than our already so extreme governments.

But if Member of Parliament Gideon van Meijeren, a lawyer who is always very correct and friendly, says it may be necessary that people don’t occupy the Parliament, but just enter (which is allowed) and refuse to leave unless the government resigns, the world is too small. A leftist activist, known but of course never caught for spreading fake news and square lies, “Dr. Marina” on Twitter or Marina Meeuwisse – an out of control experimental psychologist – had cut-and-pasted a video together in which Gideon said this, but where it seemed as if he was calling for violence.

Since I am not particularly a fan of spreading nonsense on the internet – we can at least try to tell as many truths as possible! – I will share the real video here. Then you can see for yourself if you like it or not. If you find this sedition or not and what you think about Asha’s call here to your right. You can of course react underneath. It’s not forbidden and no-one will bite you if you do.


Many more examples

I could cite many more examples of very normal and peaceful demonstrations for democracy and against oppression or injustice in the whole world. We have the so very courageous demonstrations in Iran that I haven’t even written about yet (I will, I really will), the protests in Brazil against having a convict as their president, the protests of the Dutch but also German and Italian farmers and all those demonstrations for free speech and democracy in the Netherlands, but also in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, in Ethiopia against the horrible war there and in Yemen. I want to have mentioned them and all the other demonstrations and protest I forgot, but don’t want to make this article longer and messier than needed. It’s just very urgent that we stand up for our democratic rights, for which we have been fighting ever since humanity existed and which are being taken away in daily changes of laws by our governments.


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Natassa Vassiliou, MA

Anastasía (Natassa) Vassiliou analyses the news with her unique fresh insight. She studied Greek & French Literature, with minors in law ethics and teaching mother language plus specialisation in media psychology. 25 years in education & business trainings followed. 13 years in traditional medicine research and coaching & 2 years in the media. Natassa loves kids, Greece, coffee & nice people. Also cherries, apes, boeren, cooking & experts. No to Jeugdzorg, egoists, bonkers, dipshits & digital ID's. Proud Greek, Orthodox Christian and Mom of 2 Awesome Big Boys, she is sadly handicapped.

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