The Unmute Us protest march is once again moving through the city today to demonstrate against the current events policy. On August 21, there were already protests in the city and the turnout was estimated at around 10,000 participants. Because the measures were not relaxed, protests are taking place again today by festival organizers, artists and party lovers.
The procession starts at 14:00 in the Westerpark and ends there as well. Amsterdam is not the only city where people take to the streets. Demonstrations are also taking place in The Hague, Eindhoven, Enschede, Groningen, Leiden, Maastricht, Tilburg and Utrecht. “We demand that events are possible again immediately,” says Unmute Us spokesperson Jasper Goossen.
Pieter de Kroon of the Chicago Social Club will be there just like last time. “I join because it is so incredibly unfair that we as clubs are still not allowed to open. In addition, I would also like to support the festivals. I can’t stand it that events such as Formula 1 and football matches are allowed, and we are not while we have our affairs in order. It’s just all very skewed.”
Marieke Samallo of Milkshake Festival is this afternoon on the truck that Milkshake organizes together with other queer organizations. “There is now a very queer target group that cannot leave, even though it is so necessary. They are safer spaces, where you can be yourself and it is an outlet for a vulnerable group. In addition, when I was 16 and 17 I learned so much from going out. I’m really holding my breath for what’s going to happen to this target audience.”
Goossen is disappointed with the reaction from The Hague after the previous protest. “There was just almost no response, I thought that was very bad. Isn’t it strange that when 70,000 people take to the streets in the Netherlands, you don’t let us hear from you? That’s just idiotic.”
Samallo: “It seems like everything is open, if you don’t go out at night or at festivals. I think that’s why there is so little response from the government. The Hague is really wrong about how important it is. only for the parties, but also for the people in the industry such as the lighting technician and the set builders.”
De Kroon and Samallo hope that the atmosphere today will be the same as at the first protest march. “It couldn’t have gone better last time. The atmosphere was great and the turnout was great. So many people came. We really showed that we don’t agree with it,” says Kroon.
Samallo: “I saw all those smiling faces and thought: this is what we do it for. It really made me a bit emo.”