Searchlight - March 2007
Blood & Honour thugs armed with iron bars, pepper spray, a black jack, a chain and beer bottles launched a vicious attack on anti-fascists in Uitgeest, northern Holland, on 3 February. The assault occurred as anti-fascists were making their way to a protest at a nazi meeting in the town, organised by the Nationalist People's Movement (NVB).
The NVB, established in March 2006, is a breakaway from the National Alliance (NA) and is currently bigger than the NA. It is an openly fascist organisation, and its symbol is a copy of that used by National Socialist Movement which collaborated with the Nazis during Germany's wartime occupation of the Netherlands. The NVB's main slogan "For People and Homeland" is also a rip-off of the title of the newspaper the NSB sold from 1933 to 1945.
The main driving forces behind the NVB are veterans from the fascist Centrum Party '86 which was outlawed in 1998 and include Wim Beaux, 76, from Amsterdam, Gerard de Wit, 54, from Delft and Peter van Egmond, 56, from Velsen-Noord. Their new creation is more a movement than a party and is not bothered about fighting elections, preferring, it appears, to create a meeting point for hardcore nazis.
On 28 October, the NVB tried to hold a clandestine meeting in Haarlem. Despite its efforts to keep the venue a secret, about 40 anti-fascists from Haarlem showed up at the venue – rented to the nazis by the city – and mobilised local residents shocked and outraged to have fascists in their neighbourhood.
After pressure from the residents, the local press and the anti-fascists, police decided to evict the nazis but not before calling in the help of dozens of riot police who guaranteed the NVB's safe passage away from the scene.
Undeterred by this humiliation, the NVB staged its first demonstration, on 11 November, against the building of a mosque in Middelburg and attracted around a hundred people. The nazi mob included members of Blood & Honour Traditional and also the so-called National Collective. The latter outfit is a new group of youngsters from the fascist Stormfront forum, the racist Platform de Krijger and Voorpost.
On the day, the police in Middelburg surrounded the demonstration with mounted police and vans and made sure the fascists' route only marched on the outskirts of town and under the constant surveillance of a circling police helicopter. For ninety minutes, the NVB and its playmates bawled slogans that included "Here marches the national resistance", another borrowed slogan, this time from the German Kameradschaften.
In planning its foray into Uitgeest on 3 February, the NVB showed its determination to prevent a repetition of its defeat in Haarlem by asking the heavy mob of Blood & Honour Traditional, chapter 'Westland', to secure its venue. However, despite the private invitations issued by the NVB, anti-fascists again found out the meeting place and organised a counter-demonstration. Although the police had several vanloads of riot police at Uitgeest station, they did not know the exact location of the nazi gathering.
It was as the anti-fascists approached the venue that a group of about twenty-five B&H Traditional boneheads attacked them. In two lines, they charged the anti-fascists while Ton Steemers, a prominent NVB member and ex-member of the NA's leadership, shouted orders from just behind the lines, encouraging the fascists to pull anti-fascists activists into their lines and beat them up.
Blood & Honour leader, Erik de Graaf, and his deputy, Marcel Dootjes, the treasurer of B&H, went beserk, lashing out wildly at the anti-fascists, while the brothers Wijnand and Marcel De Putter from Zeeland, leaders of the Dietse Comrades group – more or less the youth wing of the NVB – and supporters of Blood & Honour, were also, along with iron bar-wielding Wouter Eekels, in the forefront of the violence. In the nazi onslaught, several anti-fascists were injured, one of whom was taken to hospital with a broken nose and jaw.
Alerted to the nazi attack, riot police intervened, arresting 28 B&H members and NVB supporters. In total, around 50 fascists were present. Police, meanwhile, removed the anti-fascists, from the town and the NVB meeting was dissolved. Steemers, 42, and Dootjes, 31, were held in police custody until 15 February, the rest of the arrested nazis were released after two days.
Blood & Honour's violence was widely celebrated on various fascist webfora, but some of the NVB's more "moderate" members were not so pleased and threatened to quit when the NVB refused to distance itself from B&H Traditional and the violence.
This latest nazi venture into violence shocked the media and should again alert the police and local authorities to the dangers posed by such meetings. Anti-fascists, meanwhile, have not been imtimidated by the attack and have served notice that they will continue to oppose and frustrate the building of fascist movements and parties in the Netherlands.
Jeroen Bosch for Alert! and Antifa-Net