Amsterdam allows Sinterklaas parade to proceed

Amsterdam allows Sinterklaas parade to proceed

Earlier this autumn, a total of 21 individuals officially lodged objections against the City of Amsterdam granting permits allowing the Sinterklaas parade on 17 November 2013 to go ahead.

The most striking objection was linked to ‘Zwarte Piet’ (literally ‘Black Peter’), with the objectors claiming that the event in its current form amounted to racism. The City of Amsterdam Complaints Commission has advised the mayor of Amsterdam to declare the objections to be unfounded. Following additions by the mayor, the recommendation has been adopted. This means that permission to allow the Sinterklaas parade to proceed will not be revoked.

Sinterklaas parade in Amsterdam
The Complaints Commission concluded that all requirements of granting the permit were satisfied. The commission also found no legal argument to conclude that the character of Zwarte Piet is racist. Earlier today, the mayor met with Mr Gario (one of the objectors) and the committee organising the Amsterdam parade to explain his decision. During the meeting, the mayor indicated that he was mindful of the feelings of the objectors as well as those of Sinterklaas enthusiasts. The mayor of Amsterdam is pleased that the committee and Mr Gario will remain in discussions in the coming weeks regarding the details of this year’s parade.

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