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Sunday 21 December  
Rules and regulations of the protest areas in Amsterdam, RNW
Michiel Bles's picture
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

A fundamental right to protest

Published on : 28 April 2013 - 8:00am | By Michiel Bles (Illustration: Tamar Visscher - Michiel Bles (RNW))

The city of Amsterdam has set aside six areas for demonstrations on April 30th, when the new Dutch king Willem-Alexander will be inaugurated. The capital’s Mayor Eberhard van der Laan says these places are for “people who want to raise their voices in protest”. 

The right to protest is enshrined in Article 9 of the Dutch Constitution. However, according to the Public Protest Act, a mayor is entitled to impose restrictions on any demonstration in order to safeguard public order (see graphic). Offenders can be fined up to €3,900 or sentenced to up to two months in prison.

Raise a banner
The centrally located Dam Square, where the inauguration ceremony will take place, is not a designated protest area. However, “it is permitted for an individual to raise a banner on Dam Square”, van der Laan told a local television station, “but groups of protesters will be banned. One person holding a sign is not a demonstration.”

Anti-monarchist movements such as Hetis2013 (It is 2013), Nieuw Republikeins Genootschap (New Republican Community) and Pro Republica have announced they will demonstrate on the 30th of April. They’re calling people to join them via Facebook and Twitter.



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