Demonstrations in support of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris will take place in over 30 Dutch towns and cities on Thursday evening.
The marches will start off at 18.00, coinciding with the mass rally scheduled to take place in Paris.
Prime minister Mark Rutte will address the demonstration in Amsterdam, which will follow a route from the French consulate on the Vijzelgracht to Dam Square. The city’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan and police chief Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg will also speak during the event, the Parool reports.
‘The most important thing is that we do not give away one millimeter of our free society,’ Van der Laan said in the Parool. ‘Our biggest challenge is not to become afraid and not to become divided.’
Other gatherings are scheduled in Rotterdam, The Hague, Leeuwarden, Delft, Leiden, Utrecht, Amstelveen, Arnhem, Zwolle, Maastricht and Eindhoven and many other towns.
As politicians and newspaper leader writers call for a united display against the terrorist attacks, Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV, issued a video message calling for the army to be brought in.
‘This is not the end of the trouble, but the beginning,’ he said. Accusing political leaders of cowardice, Wilders said very tough measures had to be introduced. The borders must be closed and ‘the army has to be brought in to protect our stations, our streets and our shopping centres,’ Wilders said.
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