April 6, 2009

Definite proof I have not crossed into the brown camp ;)

Photo: Jos van Zetten. For more of his photos of the event: see here.

Me (second from Left) together with Dutch comrades protesting against the NATO war machine in Strasbourg, last weekend. Yes, I'm really that short. The scarf is not because we had any reason to keep our identities a secret - ours was a peaceful demonstration - but to protect against the copious amounts of teargas canisters we were welcomed with by the ever-so-friendly Gendarmerie Mobile. They tried to prevent us to make use of the universal democratic right to demonstrate by any means possible. Many buses full of French union protestors among others were halted and prohibited to participate. Despite this, tens of thousands of people managed to let their cry be heard against the Afghan and Iraq war, the political destabilisation of Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the widespread militarisation this organistation represents. Not all action was nonviolent though, a small minority of the protestors engaged in direct confrontation with the police force and vandalism, with the burning down of a hotel (50 people reported injured) as its saddest accomplishment. Obviously this sort of behaviour serves no political goal and can only hurt any protest - the idea is to win the hearts and minds to our cause against war and violence is not the way. Shame on those selfish bastards.

EDIT: despite violence on both sides, the actions were not unsuccesful. Our blockade attempts
and entering the "red zone" at the break of dawn delayed the summit on saturday with over an hour. We heard there was considerable tension between the country's delegations made possible in part by our demonstration. There has been some good, reasonably accurate press coverage here in the Netherlands, including showing the protestors' side of the story that will garner attention to our cause and the unprovoked and disproportionate aggression displayed by the French police force present.


  1. I always feel that violence in otherwise peaceful protests is sparked by undercover police. In the US there is history of this, and I imagine it happens elsewhere as well.

    Anyway, great photo, keep real democratic action alive!

  2. good of you to mention central asia, people tend to forget all the fucking shit they did there...