Two of the five advocates of Zwarte Piet who disrupted a meeting of action group Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) in The Hague on Friday evening are still detained, the police have announced. Three others were released on Saturday afternoon.

The three released people still remain suspects, the police report on Twitter.

The five had demolished a few windows of the building where Kick Out Zwarte Piet held a meeting and destroyed cars in the courtyard. A fire was also caused because fireworks were lit. The residents of Hagen between the ages of 13 and 37 were subsequently arrested for violence and attempted arson.

KOZP calls, among other things, on the government to "protect the fundamental rights of protesters against Zwarte Piet during the upcoming Sinterklaas trips". The group condemns the act as an "act of terror" and declares to be for peaceful protest.

Members of the KOZP had already announced that they were going to make a declaration. According to Mitchell Esajas, the group was "shocked, but luckily unharmed". The action group was established in 2014 to "ban the racist figure of Zwarte Piet".

In May 2019, the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) stated that the KOZP "operates within the limits of the law", after the NCTV admitted that a mention of the action group under the heading "extremism" in a 2017 report was based on a "misunderstanding".

Minister Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice and Security) said on Saturday that "free debate culture and freedom of expression should not be influenced by violence or violent actions".

KOZP leader Jerry Afriyie writes on Facebook on Saturday that he "has no words" for the Friday night incident. According to him, his supporters are not afraid of the violent actions, but it motivates them to take action against Zwarte Piet.

Petes with a national entry have a soot wipe

The national entry of Sinterklaas takes place in Apeldoorn this year. The Petes will then only have soot wipes and will therefore not be completely black. This has been decided by the NTR, which is responsible for registration and the Sinterklaas journal , after coordination with the municipality.

"The NTR introduced the soot wipe in 2014 and gradually reduced the number of completely black painted beets," said the NTR.

A year ago, the broadcaster also announced that it would switch completely to soot wipes, but in the Sinterklaas journal a combination of all black wets and soot wipes was finally shown.


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