Action in Dutch embassy in Egypt, against cuts, against Queen

Nieuws, gepost door: Jelle op 02/05/2012 05:03:00

Wanneer: 02/05/2012 - 13:59

Clampdown on Dutch activist during Queen’s Day celebration in Cairo

CAIRO: A Dutch activist’s anti-monarchy speech caused uproar Monday as security officials instantly forced the young man off stage during a national celebration hosted by the Dutch Embassy in Cairo.

Queen’s Day is a national festivity celebrated annually in the Netherlands to commemorate the former Dutch Queen’s birthday.

“We are here today to celebrate the decadent Royal House that is costing us millions and millions of euros, while we are cutting funds on education, social services…” shouted the activist, who was wearing pro-Palestinian clothes, to a mostly Dutch audience of two hundred people.

“This to the Royal Dutch House! This to the Queen!” he said, lifting his middle finger in the air as he was forced off stage by Dutch and Egyptian security.

The disruptive action directly followed after a speech by Dutch Ambassador Susan Blankhart, chanting of the national anthem and an enthusiastic hail to the Queen.

A photographer who attempted to document the course of events was aggressively pushed away by security officials while others ushered the activist to the exit. After questioning by Egyptian police, the activist was barred from the reception.

“As I expected, I was silenced, grabbed and escorted out. This illustrates that dissenting voices that challenge the dominant discourse are not tolerated. That’s the state of our ‘freedoms’ in the Netherlands. You can say whatever you want, but if we don’t like it, you will be censored,” said the 23-year-old Dutch activist.

Officials of the Dutch Embassy have yet to respond to the action.

“We are celebrating a decadent Dutch Royal House that drives around in a golden carriage and is costing the tax payer millions, while our politicians and media are selling us lies about austerity measures that are allegedly necessary. But where do they cut? Education, healthcare, pensions! All this under the auspices of the economic crisis. Why not abolish the institution of the royal house? Why not tax the rich a little more? The political and economic elites, our so-called leaders, are waging a systematic war against the most vulnerable segments of society. Enough is enough!” he added.

The Dutch Monarchy costs taxpayers 113 million euros annually. This is an estimated 6-euro a year per citizen, according to the Dutch Ministry of General Affairs.

Concurrently, the annual Queen’s Day celebration hosted by Dutch embassies around the world costs taxpayers thousands of euros, according to Dutch media reports. Embassies in London, Moscow and Beijing spend an estimated 33,000 euros on the receptions.

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