Student protestors still in police custody
2 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Just 40 of the 141 arrested students who stormed the management offices of the University of Amsterdam on Monday night had been released from police custody by Wednesday morning.
2 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — Just 40 of the 141 arrested students who stormed the management offices of the University of Amsterdam on Monday night had been released from police custody by Wednesday morning.
The detained protestors who agreed to give their name to police had been released. They were fined EUR 75 and issued with a summons to appear in court later this year.
The public prosecutor has asked the police to determine the identity of those who have refused to give their names, newspaper NRC reported.
As soon as their identity is known, the students will be issued with a court summons and a fine of EUR 125.
The higher fine relates to the fact they also breached a new law obliging everyone above the age of 14 to carry identification, a crime that carries an average fine of EUR 50.
All students were expected to be released by the end of Wednesday. If not, other students were planning to stage a "noise" demonstration outside the police station on the Elandsgracht at 3pm. A similar protest is planned for 8pm.
The students stormed the Maagdenhuis in the Spui in Amsterdam on Monday night in a protest against rising course fees. The Maagdenhuis is the management headquarters of the University of Amsterdam.
They are demanding that the government change its plans forcing students who do not complete their studies within the duration of their course plus 18 months to pay higher fees.
This can amount to EUR 4,500 per year compared with the present rate of EUR 1,500.
Education State Secretary Mark Rutte has refused to accede to demands and is now facing legal action from the student union LSVb on claims he incited the protest action.
The students claim that Rutte urged them to occupy university buildings if they were dissatisfied with education. But when that occurred, Rutte's refusal to meet with protestors on Monday led to their arrests.
Rutte said in television programme Netwerk last month: "Students may demand good education. If necessary, in a hard manner. I am even prepared to give a lecture: 'How do I occupy a university?'"
But Rutte also told Radio 1 on Tuesday morning that students must accept the consequences if they opt to carry out such protests.
And an Amsterdam lawyer who often represents squatters, Marq Wijngaarden, does not expect much to come of the court action, newspaper Het Parool reported.
He said it must be proven that the Liberal VVD junior minister urged violent actions, raising the chance of an "incitement" case. "I don't think that it will succeed," Wijngaarden said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news