Racist slogans projected on Rotterdam bridge during New Year festivities

Texts on the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam. Photo: Tobias Kleuver ANP
Texts on the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam. Photo: Tobias Kleuver ANP

Rotterdam police are investigating how racists managed to project white supremacist slogans on the side of the Erasmus bridge during New Year celebrations in the city just as the clocks hit midnight.

The texts, ‘happy white 2023’, ‘white lives matter’ and a text in English about securing a future for white children were visible for several minutes, locals said. The text, known as ’14 words’ was first used by a white separatist movement in the US.

Although the main firework show was cancelled hundreds of people had come to the bridge to mark the New Year. ‘We were really shocked,’ one eyewitness said.

Deputy mayor Ronald Buijt told the broadcaster that the statements were ‘offensive and divisive.’ ‘These guys do not deserve any attention,’ he said. ‘In Rotterdam, everyone is equal.’

Police first said the projections appeared to come from a boat but a spokesman for the firework event organisers told the AD later they came from an apartment on the Wilhelminapier.

‘We had seen texts like ‘happy New Year’ appearing on the bridge in the evening so we did not pay too much attention to them,’ he said. It was not until the next morning, he said, that they heard what had happened.

‘If we had known, we would have kept a better eye on which apartment,’ he said.

Note: This text was updated to reflect additional information about the texts.

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