Short news

Searchlight - December 2006

The fascist Dutch People's Union (NVU) marched, for the second successive year, in Arnhem, on 30 September, guarded by over 300 police who arrested 47 bystanders for having no identification on them. Around 100 anti-fascists were able to slip the police cordon and march on the NVU's route. A confrontation was narrowly avoided, however, because the fascists had to wait for their usual reinforcements from Germany and thus started their demonstration later than announced.

Meanwhile, on 12 October, Ben van der Kooi, an activist of the fascist National Alliance, was acquitted, for setting fire to a Rotterdam mosque last year, when a court decided that the CCTV footage taken the night of the blaze it clearly shows van der Kooi cycling with a jerry can of petrol on the back of his bike was a too vague to "really recognise anyone", even though several witnesses did so. Also, it concluded that the probe into van der Kooi's discarded clothes had not provided "enough evidence" that the paint on them was used for the racist graffiti daubed on the mosque and that the petrol he had had been used to torch the building. It appears that the forensic investigators did not look hard enough at these vital pieces of evidence. The case was not helped by the fact that some prosecution witnesses were so intimidated by van der Kooi's supporters that they did not dare give evidence in court. Van der Kooi proclaimed himself unbroken by his 18-months of detention, and boasted that he would continue his struggle using stickers, pamphlets and banners.

Finally, on 11 November, two fascist outfits hit the streets; the National People's Movement (NVB), a split-off from the National Alliance, marched with around 80 people, among them a bunch of Blood&Honour activists, against a new mosque in Middelburg in southern Holland and the Dutch People's Union (NVU) marched with the same number in Zoetermeer near The Hague, in protest at a city council plan to combat the growing number of racist youth in the town. In Middelburg, seven nazis were arrested for refusing to show their ID while, in Zoetermeer, around 100 anti-fascists demonstrated against the NVU's march. In an NVU speech, the nazis who attacked the Kristallnacht memorial in Frankfurt an der Oder on 9 November (see separate story) were applauded.

By Jeroen Bosch of Alert! and Antifa-Net in Utrecht reports