Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP), the anti-Zwarte Piet protest group has accused Dutch police of failing to protect its members after one of its meetings was broken up by a vandalizing vigilante group.
“Our experience is that the police and government are not taking the real threats against us seriously,” says KOZP spokesperson Mitchell Esajas. This comes after a Friday evening meeting of the activist group in The Hague was received with smashed windows, vandalized cars, and fireworks resulting in 5 arrests. Amongst those arrested was a 13-year-old boy.
Of the incident, terrorist expert Teun van Dongen has said, “What we saw on Friday was a move towards extremism, continuing with “You can see it not just in reports on social media, but also in politics. Parties are saying things that can hardly be distinguished from what extreme right-wing groups are calling for.”
The overall incident in The Hague has resulted in KOZP canceling its public schedule, claiming the organization will use the upcoming days to better secure their events and participants. Furthermore, KOZP has also accused Dutch multi-millionaire John van Zweden of also inciting violence against them when he tweeted to turn up to the planned 12 cities KOZP protests “with tar, feathers and other shit to drive them out of the city.” Those tweets have since been deleted.