Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Call for a #dutchrevolution — real democracy now!

By Jerome E. Roos
May 24, 2011

They call it democracy and it’s not: a right-wing government cutting away at social welfare and civil liberties without even having a majority in Parliament or the Senate. We want real democracy now!

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Enough is enough! This week, against the background of a burgeoning civil protest movement that is rapidly spreading throughout Europe, the right-wing minority coalition that governs the Netherlands lost its majority in the Senate. With this, their last shred of democratic legitimacy has evaporated.

Yet the government refuses to budge. Entirely dependent on the goodwill of the right-wing extremists in Geert Wilders’ PVV (and now also on the Christian fundamentalists of the SGP), the Liberal-Christian coalition continues its ideological assault upon the Dutch people unabated.

Cutting away at social welfare and civil liberties, our ‘leaders’ somehow want to make us believe that we all need to chip in and ‘tighten our belts’. After all, there is ‘not enough money’ to go round anymore.
But if this is even true, where did all this money go? We didn’t eat it! Why will my younger sister have to pay more for her studies, just because the banks tripped on their own greed?

Why did the government bail out the reckless speculators at Fortis and ABN AMRO, but not the humble musical geniuses at the various national orchestras?

At the same time, why do we keep distracting our population from the real crux of the problem by making them believe that the Muslims are to blame for our social malaise?

Why do we treat our immigrants and asylum seekers with such indignity and disrespect? Where is the democracy in that?

  • We are outraged at the racism of Geert Wilders and his party of thugs.
  • We are outraged at an immigration policy that continuously flaunts even the most basic EU standards.
  • We are outraged at the reckless budget cuts that are destroying our cultural heritage, our educational system and our welfare state.
  • We are outraged at the excessive power of the financial sector and the co-optation of our entire political system by corporate interests.
  • We are outraged at the persistent failure of our political elite to respond adequately to the overwhelming social, financial and environmental crises we face.
  • We are outraged at the tacit support that the Dutch government and Dutch corporations have given to dictatorial regimes abroad, including in North Africa and the Middle East.
  • We are outraged at the depressing impotence and persistent failure of the opposition parties to formulate and articulate a credible alternative to this outraging status quo.

But most of all, we are outraged that the things that used to make us proud of our country — namely our tolerance and open-mindedness, our civil liberties, our social welfare, our egalitarian (yet world-class) educational system, our rich cultural heritage — are being destroyed by a government of the minority that knows no values other than money and that has absolutely no respect for human dignity, democratic principles and the real Dutch identity, which is as pluralistic and diverse as it’s ever been.

It’s time to stand up and create a peaceful social movement for positive change! It’s time to poke through the façade and cry out for real democracy now!

Tonight, at 8pm we are joining the Spanish protesters at the Dam Square in Amsterdam to discuss the possibilities for a #dutchrevolution.

Furthermore, on June 11th, we will take to the streets of Amsterdam to demand real democracy now. Keep an eye on our Facebook page which we are currently in the process of setting up, as well as the June 11th protest itself.

¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!

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