Politicians of all parties have condemned two vandalism attacks in the space of a week on the house of Forum voor Democratie leader Thierry Baudet.
A ‘foul-smelling liquid’ was sprayed under the front door of the right-wing politician’s house in Amsterdam on Monday morning, just days after feminist protesters daubed an anarchist symbol on his door in pink paint.
The perpetrator of the latter attack is still unknown, but the Radical Anarchist Feminist Front, which claimed responsibility for the first incident, said it was protesting against Baudet’s ‘deplorable ideas’. Baudet has come under fire in the past for stating that women are less ambitious and like to be ‘overpowered’.
Leaders of other parties said attacking a politician’s home went beyond the boundaries of acceptable public debate. ‘However much I disagree with him, he has just as much freedom as me to say what he wants,’ said ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers.
‘You’re not just silencing Baudet or other representatives of his party, but his voters. That’s a violation of democracy that we should never tolerate.’
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said: ‘In our democracy you can express your feelings in all kinds of ways, but keep your hands off people, their personal space and above all their homes.’
Baudet said he had reported both incidents to the police but did not comment further on the incidents, other than to say he ‘greatly appreciated the professional manner in which the Amsterdam police have proceeded with this case.’
Feminist commentator Anne Fleur Dekker told Nieuwsuur that while she sympathised with the objections to Baudet’s comments, defacing his front door was the wrong way to express them. ‘Protests such as these are counter-productive, because Baudet can now cast himself in the role of victim,’ she said. ‘Individual protests solve nothing – it’s much better to take a collective stance in a larger group.’