Gedenkfeier von Fluechtlingen verboten und Aktivistinnen verhaftet und mit Abschiebehaft bedroht

Am vierten Mai, dem Befreiungstag in den Niederlanden, wurden vier wuetende Frauen verhaftet und mit Abschiebehaft bedroht weil sie eine "Refugees Welcome"-Flagge auf der offizielen Gedenkfeier auf dem Dam in Amsterdam hissten. Weil Fluechtlinge und Opfer der niederlaendischen Sklavereigeschichte von der offiziellen Gedenkfeier ausgeschlossen sind wurde eine alternative Gedenkfeier organisiert - diese wurde allerdings im letzten Moment von den Behoerden verboten (wodurch die Organisatoren keine Zeit hatten um etwas Neues zu planen) und erhielt massive Drohungen von rechtsextremen Gruppierungen. Nachdem die Aktivistinnen (eine von Ihnen die Enkelin einer Amsterdammer Widerstandskaempferin) von Teilnehmnern der Gedenkfeier koerperlich angeriffen wurden haben sie diese verlassen und wurden daraufhin von der Polizei gestoppt, durchsucht, verhaftet und nach einer Nacht in Gewahrsam ohne Verpflegung mit Abschiebehaft bedroht weil sie sich aus Solidaritaet mit Ungedokumentierten weigerten, ihre Identitaet preiszugeben (ein normaler Vorgang in den Niederlanden).
Obgleich es viel zivilgesellschaftliche Kritik an dieser From des Gedenkens gibt, schwiegen die niederlaendischen Medien darueber und ueber diese Aktion (die Bilder wurden sogar aus der Live-Uebertragung zensiert) um das Bild dieses nationalistisch aufgeladenen, einenden Feiertags aufrecht zu erhalten.
PICTURED: Emma M. Wierda, granddaughter of an Amsterdam resistance fighter, pictured in her Oma’s officers uniform jacket with the same flag she and 3 others held in silent protest against the mayor’s decision to formally exclude refugees from the national memorial ceremony on Dam Square. All four women were arrested immediately following the memorial service and held at Amsterdam police headquarters on Marnixstraat//Elandsgracht, despite any official charge having been filed against them.


It is a deeply unfortunate and dark irony that we four young women were unlawfully arrested and illegally held by the Amsterdam police for exercising our right to peacefully protest the mayor’s decision to formally exclude refugees from the national commemoration service for those fallen in the fight against facism.

It is with great respect and solemn humility that we chose to raise a flag with the text “Refugees Welcome” during the two minutes of memorial silence, not as a challenge to the importance of those we’ve lost in the fight against state oppression in the Second World War, but as an effort to broaden our collective mourning in order to include those who still today face the same systemic violence in conflicts and wars being waged all over the world.

Immediately after the service, we felt forced to flee the scene following several very upsetting incidences of hate speech and threats of physical violence made against us by fellow citizens, who, despite being present in order to participate in the commemoration, felt it more important to break the silence in order to insult and intimidate us.

It was only a matter of minutes before we were surrounded by both uniformed and undercover police, forcibly led into an alleyway, barricaded in on both sides by officers, horses, and motorcades, unlawfully detained and interrogated, and finally, arrested. The police demanded that we identify ourselves after having confiscated our flag, as well as other personal belongings, without legal cause.

In an act of solidarity, we chose not to meet the demands of this team of police agents, as for us it is a matter of principle that we refuse to show our papers to authorities without formal cause; the culture of casual harassment and intimidation we witness being exacted against undocumented or unregistered individuals in our society makes it necessary that those of us privileged enough to have access to legal status and citizenship stay vigilant in seeing that those rights and protocols stay protected for us all.

We were unlawfully held even after having been identified. Our rights to peaceful demonstration, due process, access to legal representation, access to medical attention, as well as many other more specific entitlements awarded to arrestees have been violated through and throughout this incident. We were denied our basic human rights while in custody, and threatened without cause with transferral to foreign detention, in addition to numerous other incidental transgressions such as denial of food and water and access to a bathroom.

One of us is the granddaughter of an Amsterdam resistance fighter, who’s brother and fiance were both brutally murdered by nazis on the streets of our city. We believe it is our responsibility to continue to uphold the legacy of ideals championed by our ancestors, namely a fundamental concern for our responsibility to fight facism, may it be found in our own society, or made manifest elsewhere.

It is a deeply unfortunate and dark irony that we were finally released, without charges, on our national liberation day. With this in mind, we only have yet to say: