Searchlight - June 2007
Nazism hit the headlines in the Netherlands again on 1 May when police raided two houses in Delft and Spijkenisse arresting two nazis, Maarten van Mil and Robin van Opstal.
Van Mil, 42, a trader in nazi paraphernalia, was arrested in Delft and, in Spijkenisse, just a block away from the home of Arris de Bruin, whose house was raided in March and who is still in jail for weapons possession, Robin van Opstal, a twenty-five-year-old Blood&Honour/Racial Volunteer Force member, was hauled away by police.
In van Mils' house the police found weapons, ammunition and nazi insignia. Van Mil is notorious for touting nazi insignia. In 2004, he was arrested at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport while trying to import thousands of fake nazi badges and emblems. He was prosecuted but acquitted after claiming that the insignias were supposedly to be used in a film. Van Mil delivered weapons to de Bruin, according to a declaration made by the latter to the police. Van Opstal has since been released. On 7 May three militaries are arrested, their houses and barracks in Roosendaal, Assen and Soesterberg are searched in connection to the confiscation of the weapons at de Bruins house. They are suspected of stealing Defence-equipment. According to the police no right wing material were found in the houses of the militaries. Two of the soldiers are released but still suspects.
It is quite normal that ordinary people are concerned that violent nazis have and deal in weapons. Not so the Dutch secret service, the AIVD, which states in its latest report that the danger of Blood&Honour should not be exaggerated and that there is no sign of nazi terrorism in the Netherlands. Also, the report claims, erroneously and pedantically, that the numerous racist groups that infest the country are not racist, because "they do not act out of reasoned considerations of biological inferiority".
On 28 April, four hate music bands played at a gig in the small town of Voorschoten, attracting a mob of about a hundred nazis. Among visitors to the gig were top faces in Blood&Honour Traditional, members and supporters of Youth Storm Holland, the National Collective and the National Movement group, organised around Tim Mudde, former frontman of the nazi band Brigade M.
Some of the visitors wore obvious white power symbols and the clothes with the "88' code and one of the bands performing was Westland Rebels, established in 2003 by former members of Brigade M. Their first gig was in 2004 at a concert organised by the German National Democratic Party (NPD).
Another band playing in Voorschoten was De Ruyter Korps which was founded eighteen months ago. De Ruyter Korps has allegedly contributed to a benefit CD for Scott Stedeford, an American white supremacist terrorist jailed for carrying out armed bank robberies. Stedeford used the proceeds of his crimes to support US white power movements working to overthrow the government. The money raised from sales of the CD will be used to pay Stedeford's legal costs.
Also performing at the gig was the Hungarian nazi formation Fehér Törvény, notorious for songs with titles like "You're a fucking jew" and CDs with names like "More hate 88".
During the gig, chants of "Sieg Heil" and the German nazi slogan "The national resistance is marching here" were clearly audible in the surrounding neighborhood but the large number of police standing outside and patrolling the area did not intervene. At the end of the evening, the usual brawls and punch-ups between rival nazi factions broke out. Again, there was no police action.
It was shameful that neither the local authority nor police felt obliged to put an end to this event held for the sole purpose of glorifying the Third Reich. The owner of the gig venue, who said afterwards that he did not know that the "party" was a cover for a nazi concert, has been invited to meet the mayor of Voorschoten who will reportedly tell him to behave more responsibly in future. At the same time, the mayor believes that police would have intervened had the "nationalist outing" got out of hand.
The Voorschoten gig followed events in Oss, where the Dutch People's Union (NVU) staged a demonstration on 7 April with the slogan "Against the casino capitalism! Against the plutocacy!" Oss was chosen because Jan Marijnissen, the leader of the Socialist Party, lives in the town and the NVU blames his party for its role in securing a limited pardon for refugees who have spent years applying for asylum.
On the day, around 70 nazis marched, among them ten from Germany including Sascha Krolzig from Kameradschaft Hamm who called on those present to support the nazi May Day demonstration in Dortmund. The demonstrators, mainly composed of so-called "autonomous nationalists" from Youth Storm Holland, Blood & Honour members from both the Traditional and Racial Volunteer Force factions and the Aktionfront, waved German Imperial War flags and shouted mainly German slogans as "Rühm und Ehre für die Deutsche Wehrmacht" (Fame and honour to the German Army) and "Schutzstaffelsoldaten, Heldentäter" (SS men – heroes").
The conditions laid down by the local authorities in Oss for the demonstration were quiet severe. This may have been helped by Anti-fascist Action which sent a list of racist and antisemitic symbols to the mayor and the police, asking them to implement the country's anti-racist laws.
Mayors in other towns where the NVU has demonstrated have also handed out tight restrictions but have not implemented them. In Oss, however, the first arrest was made even before the demonstration started when a German nazi was detained for not presenting his ID and some banners with nazi codes were confiscated. A flag with the Black Sun, however, was allowed.
During the demonstration, a female nazi was yanked out of the demonstration by the police, probably for violating the ban on nazi slogans after repeated complaints from the police to Kusters, and later, despite some scuffles, another German nazi was arrested for having a Triskel badge on his cap.
At the end of the demonstration, there was a standoff between the police and nazis demanding release of those arrested. Next, they tried to break out of a police cordon and escape in a train stopping at the local station, but were beaten back by riot police. Later, a group of nazis trundled to nearby Den Bosch to demonstrate outside the police station, two of them being arrested for drinking beer in public and insulting police officers.
All in all, it was not a nice day for NVU leader Constant Kusters who lashed out at demonstrators who could not behave themselves. That will probably mark the start of a conflict with the Youth Storm Holland which does not like nazi demonstrations that do not glorify the Third Reich.
Jeroen Bosch for Alert! and Antifa-Net