Sixty people were arrested in Gouda on Saturday after clashes between pro and anti Zwarte Piet demonstrators at the welcoming ceremony for Sinterklaas, news agency ANP reported.
City mayor Milo Schoenmaker told a news conference on Saturday afternoon he was disappointed about the incidents but was unable to say if those arrested were for or against Zwarte Piet.
Anti-campaigners had said they would demonstrate against the presence of white people in black face make-up at the parade. They had been told to confine their activities to two locations, but according to Nos television, some insisted on forcing their way to the city centre square.
One father with young children was caught up in the trouble, Schoenmaker said. He declined to say how many police had been deployed in the city.
Sinterklaas’s arrival passed off peacefully from the point of view of the young audience, Schoenmaker said.
Although Sinterklaas was accompanied by mostly Piets in blackface make-up, several Piets in different make-up, including a clown and a white Piet, were spotted by reporters.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
Donate via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.