Police chief: A placard saying ‘down with the queen’ won’t worry us

Some 10,000 police officers from all over the country will be on duty in Amsterdam during Tuesday’s investiture of king Willem-Alexander.

However, there are no signs that tomorrow will see a repeat performance of the riots which disturbed the investiture ceremony of Queen Beatrix in 1980, the Volkskrant reports.

At the time, smoke bombs were set off during the balcony scene following the ceremony and there were violent clashes between squatters and riot police in other parts of the city.

The riots, instigated by the squatter movement, were a reaction to the lack of affordable housing. The slogan of the day was ‘Geen woning, geen kroning’ (no home, no coronation).

Tolerant

Police commissioner Jan Pronker, who will be in charge of operations, was there as a young police officer and fired a tear gas grenade. This time around police action will be ‘relaxed‘, he told the paper.

‘The climate has changed, Amsterdam is a tolerant city. A placard saying ‘Down with the queen’ won’t worry us. But when more people demonstrate we will intervene and refer them to the designated protest areas in a friendly manner.’

The paper reports that an anonymous poster on squatter website Indynews, has called for a demonstration at the Waterlooplein at 12.00 tomorrow but squatter organisations have said they know nothing of large-scale actions against the investiture.

The Waterlooplein is one of six designated demonstration sites. Anti-monarchy groups The Nieuw Republikeins genootschap (the New Republican Society), It’s 2013, and Pro Republica are planning a peaceful ‘Down with the Monarchy’ get-together with concerts and poetry readings, according to media reports.


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