Jenny Douwes Friesland Freedom fighter
In the distant future, when Dutch historians look back on the year 2017, they’ll record it as the year when Jenny Douwes became the most successful Dutch civil rights leader in history!
Article 9 of the Dutch constitution
Under article 9 of the Dutch constitution, the Freedom of assembly and freedom of demonstration are guaranteed. Obviously, there are limitations to this. For example, if I decided to stand outside a store selling white sneakers, holding up a sign saying “buy some shoes, sneakers are scruffy”. That would be illegal. If however, I applied to the local council for a permit to demonstrate and this was approved, I could then legally protest. The right to take part in lawful demonstrations is an integral part of the Nederlandse Grondwet. (The right to demonstrate, not the right to wear white sneakers.)
Jenny Douwes, she had a dream
On November 17th, a day that will go down in Dutch history, one brave and fearless woman decided that her opinion was more important than the Dutch constitution.
The national ceremony to welcome Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Piets was to be held in Dokkum in Friesland. A group of activists applied for a permit to demonstrate against the planned use of blackface Zwarte Piets at the event. After discussions with the Mayor, a permit was granted. This enraged Mevrouw Douwes who is a supporter of black rights. Well, I should say she is a supporter of the rights of white people to pretend not to be black. Which in the Netherlands is a very old and precious right indeed.
Believing truly that one dream can change the world, and if not the world at least Friesland, the following message was sent out to oppose the demonstration against Zwarte Piet.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. For too long we Nederlanders have tolerated too much from people that are ungrateful. No, I’m not talking about expats, who are also a pain, in fact I’m referring to those people who we welcomed with open arms, even in Friesland, and they repay us by calling Zwarte Piet racist.
I have a dream that one day that Dutch children can grow up to be judged by the content of their character and not the type of blackface makeup that they choose to wear on their skin.
I have a dream that people will accept that no Dutch child in the history of our great nation has ever associated negers with Zwarte Piet.
I have a dream that Americans will stop interfering with our lovely Dutch tradition and focus on the huge amount of racism in their own society. (Not that I’m saying that Zwarte Piet has anything to do with racism).
I have a dream that people will accept that he’s black from soot, and not proceed to ask annoying questions about why his lips are red or why he has afro hair.
I have a dream that we can go back to calling people from Surinam and the Antilles Zwarte Piet and they will see the funny side of it again.
I have a dream that Dutch children will be able to watch Zwarte Piet and Sinterklaas without having to see demonstrators whining about racism.
When everyone in the Netherlands including our guests accepts that in this country we only have a problem with racism when it’s discussed, so it’s better not to talk about it, then we can all sit together and celebrate with some warm cola, cubes of cheese, filter coffee and bitterballen and hold hands and sing that old Nederlandse spiritual, “if you ain’t native Dutch you ain’t much”. I have a dream!
Won’t somebody please think about the children?
The message immediately went viral. Jenny who firmly believes that democracy is all well and good, but not in Friesland, asked her supporters “what about the
(white) children?”. We can’t allow our kids to witness minorities acting as if they have equal rights under Dutch law. That’s onzin! Nee, nee, nee! “If they want to demonstrate about Zwarte Piet being racist, why can’t they do so at a convenient time? Say between 1 am and 3 am? Or in July? Why do they have to do it on the very day when Sinterklaas and the Zwarte Piets arrive? What about the children?
The short drive to freedom
So a bunch of incredibly tolerant Dutch people got together and hatched a cunning plan. The anti-Zwarte Piet protestors were being escorted in buses by the Police to the ceremony in Dokkum. Incredibly, Jenny Douwes and her
stormtroopers supporters appeared to know the exact time the protestors would be arriving and proceeded to block the highway (the A7) thus preventing them from reaching their destination. In doing so, this caused several accidents, but this was no problem at all to the Police and no arrests were made.
The Police who are of course completely impartial stood by and allowed a legal protest to be prevented. I’m 100% sure that if a group of anti-Zwarte Piet protestors blocked buses carrying Sinterklaas and Piets to an event, that the Police would react in the same way. They’d probably even buy them coffee.
Jenny Douwes is the greatest heroine in the Netherlands since Sabine Veld. The woman that had sex in the big brother house in the first series. In the unlikely event that the public prosecutor decides to take action against her and others for blocking the A7, a crowdfunding action has already raised over thirty thousand euros to be used for legal fees. So there!
“Black people have been spotted heading for Friesland, I’m on my way!” Super Jenny in action.
Who needs laws when you have strong opinions?
Jenny Douwes has proven that if you have strong opinions and the majority of people agree with you, then the law is irrelevant. Even the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte tacitly supported the action of blocking the protestors from reaching the ceremony. What wonderful leadership.
Democracy is definitely overrated, long live fascism!
Until next time, “Heil Jenny!”