Demonstrations planned in Eindhoven against Zwarte Piet in Sinterklaas procession

Zwarte Piet
Photo credit: Studio040 (Alain Heerden)

This year ‘Eindhoven Kan Het’ will protest again against the inclusion of Zwarte Piet in the annual Sinterklaas procession.

The organization announced this in a letter addressed to the municipality of Eindhoven.

Dissatisfaction over discussions

‘Eindhoven Kan Het’ is not satisfied. This is because of how the city handled the discussion about Zwarte Piet after the chaos at last year’s procession. Protesters against Zwarte Piet were attacked at the Sint-Catharinakerk by counter-protesters and the police had to intervene. That was the reason for this dialogue with the municipality of Eindhoven over the 2019 Sinterklaas procession. But the talks did not produce the desired results, according to the organization.

Racism and injustice

‘Eindhoven Kan Het’ wanted a conversation about racism and injustice. But instead, it became more about the derailment of the demonstration. And as a consequence, how everyone had played an equal role in it. The Eindhoven organization believes that they are trying to achieve their goal of an inclusive Sinterklaas party by means of nonviolence and information. ‘Eindhoven Kan Het’ is also not happy because they weren’t able to provide important historical information. They wanted to discuss the connection between Dutch colonial history and past slavery and it’s relationship to the “hurtful, racist” character Zwarte Piet.

Hope for an inclusive solution

Unlike various other cities, Zwarte Piet in Eindhoven remains dark brown. According to the group, this would not suit a city that profiles itself as innovative, modern and international. ‘Eindhoven Kan Het’ is hoping that the mayor will mediate between the opponents of Zwarte Piet and the organizers of the procession. They hope to find a solution before the procession takes place. They are optimistic about a more inclusive solution with regards to the traditional Sinterklaas party.

Source: Studio040

Translator: Nicole Cullinan

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