Right-wing protest banned in Venray
13 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — Right-wing politician Michiel Smit has been banned from staging a protest in Venray, the scene of recent clashes between Lonsdale youths and Turkish immigrants.
13 April 2005
AMSTERDAM — Right-wing politician Michiel Smit has been banned from staging a protest in Venray, the scene of recent clashes between Lonsdale youths and Turkish immigrants.
Mayor Jos Waals said Saturday's protest organised by Smit posed a threat to public order. He said vandalism could occur as protestors moved through the city streets.
But Smit — who founded the right-wing party NieuwRechts (New Right) after he was expelled from Pim Fortuyn's Leefbaar Rotterdam (LR) — said the last word had not been said. A legal challenge to the ban is being prepared.
"We hope that an alternative can be discussed with the city council," he said.
Waals banned the demonstration based on an emergency ordinance imposed last week. The by-law was sparked after violence erupted at the start of this month between extreme-right youths and people with Turkish ancestry after windows were smashed at a local mosque.
The Dutch youths were wearing Lonsdale clothing, which has come to identify racist Dutch youths. Lonsdale is said to be an unofficial abbreviation for 'Laat ons Nederlanders samen de allochtonen langzaam elimineren' (meaning in English: 'Let us Dutch people gradually eliminate the immigrant together').
The national security service AIVD is now investigating the rise of right-wing Dutch youth and the threat they pose to society. Police chiefs have recently raised alarm about the rapid radicalisation of native youths.
Meanwhile, Smit claims the emergency ordinance in Venray is illegal. He asserted that it provides the council the power to ban public gatherings in nightlife venues, but pointed out his protest would be held outside.
"If every demonstration would be assessed in this manner, a rally could never be held again in the Netherlands," he said.
Smit will continue unabated with planning the demonstration and is expecting 80 people to participate.
The objective of the demonstration is to campaign for a ban on offensive symbols, such as the swastika. Smit is also demanding that Mayor Waals resign, claiming that the way he has responded to right-wing youths is incorrect. Smit said Waals will only incite them further, rather than ensure order.
But Waals said if Smit proceeds with the protest, police will step in and break the demonstration up. He also said that he had no need to reply to Smit's demand that he resign as city mayor.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news