News + what you can do about it | November 2020

Mainstream news in The Netherlands is depressing. It has to be shocking, sensational and topical. Because of this news gets negative and people who only follow this news feel like the world around them is changing in a bad way. They lose trust in people and companies and they lose hope. Besides that, it makes people feel powerless. Yet, it has been scientifically proved that the world gets better every single day for humans. And so, I share 7 news-article once a month in these posts. A mix of positive and bad news, but mostly positive, to make sure that positive news has the upper-hand. Along, I share a practical tip on what you can do to change that news. This could be a lifestyle change, a petition to sign or a social media campaign to support, anything. To make you feel in power, because we are! This way you’ll know about the positive news, how to keep it that way, the negative news and how to change that!

1-11 Protests in Poland

This started already at the end of October but it is really important. Poland has made it even harder for women to have an abortion. It was already nearly impossible, it was only allowed if a woman was pregnant by rape or incest, when the pregnant woman’s condition is life-threatening or if the fetus is severely ill. That last thing has been made illegal too now, which is the reason for 98 percent of the abortions. Poland is not a democracy, the party in charge, PiS, has control over the court. People all over the country in Poland have been protesting ever since this decision was made. Women’s rights have once again been violated.

Personal practical tip: There are organizations which you can support which offer safe abortions for Polish people who are pregnant, they help these people get to The Netherlands and get a safe abortion. Examples are Abortion Network Amsterdam or Woman on Waves. Another thing you can do is contact politicians in the European Parliament. I think it’s ridiculous that the EU is doing so little. I would suggest they stop all funding to Poland. Or something else. At least something. I have contacted a person in the EU who is representing The Netherlands, but she hasn’t responded to my message unfortunately.

7-11 President Biden in the US

Joe Biden has won the presidency in the US! This is amazing news because he is a democrat and has a lot of socialist ideas. Since he won, the US also has a woman of color as vice-president for the first time ever: Kamala Harris! It always has been men and now that’s changing! This is step in the right direction for the entire world. More people than ever showed up to vote and that is amazing. The people are in power! Biden wants to get back into the Paris Agreement, the WHO and wants to fight the mass incarceration of people of color. Trump is a racists, a misogamist and extremely right. Biden and Harris wil make the US a better place for at least the coming 4 years.

Personal practical tip: Vote! Always let your voice be heard whenever you have the right to vote. It really makes a difference, we saw that in these elections. In some states Biden just won by a small amount. Every vote counts.

9-11 Article 23 Discussion in the Netherlands

There has been a big discussion in the Netherlands about Article 23 of the constitution again. During a debate in the Dutch House of Representative a minister has been under big attention because he said that schools are allowed to ask parents to sign a statement paper. What that statement paper contains is up to them, but it can be extreme. Some schools ask parents to state that they reject homosexuality. This minister has been under attack but the thing is: he has just been explaining the law. This is what the law in The Netherlands looks like. Freedom of Education, article 23. This article clashes with article 1 of the Dutch constitution, no discrimination. The discussion is obviously justly, this is not something we should tolerate in The Netherlands. Some parties are looking into changing this constitution, but that takes years. But, the idea is there!

Personal practical tip: PvdA has an initiative to change the constitution, slightly. I would say: show them support! Send an email or a letter, or anything. I wouldn’t necessarily say vote for them, but that’s up to you.

13-11 Fireworks Ban in The Netherlands

The government has decided to ban the use of Firework during this year’s turn. Great news! Firework pollutes the environment, is the cause of a lot of accidents each year (people losing limps, people who throw fireworks to other people or into their house, aid workers being attacked), animals suffer from it, people with a disability suffer from it and it’s all just a mess. Some people stay inside for a long time because the fireworks already start in December and last until Januari. Fireworks causes people to act like The Netherlands is an anarchy or something. I hate it. Unfortunately the ban is only for one year but hopefully people will realize that it’s better that way and will stick to it. Also, fireworks costs society millions in damage and when you buy fireworks you literally blow up your money which can be used for other things if you’d ask me.

Personal practical tip: don’t buy or lit fireworks and educate yourself on the consequences.

22-11 KOZP Protest Cancelled

In the Netherlands we have a racist caricature within a specific holiday, Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). Dutch people dress up in blackface for the entertainment of children. Since it is in so many ways racist KOZP (Kick Out Zwarte Piet) holds protests all over the country this year again. On the 22nd of November they were going to protest in Eindhoven. However, eventually they cancelled the event because people from the extreme-right wing had announced a protest too, against KOZP. These protests are very violent and the police didn’t offer enough security and so KOZP had to cancel the protest. It shows once again: speaking out about racism in The Netherlands is not only controversial, it is dangerous as well. I am ashamed of the Dutch because of this.

Personal practical tip: my best tip would be: speak out about Zwarte Piet. On social media, but also try to go to the protests if you can. We have to be allies in this fight. And contact your local municipal too. Ask them to get rid of Zwarte Piet, we as people have a say in their decisions and our voices should be heard.

25-11 Free Menstruation Products in Scotland

Scotland has announced to offer free menstrual products for people who have a period! The products can be picked up for free from now in all public places, like pharmacies. This amazing news and I think it should be the norm worldwide. The poverty gap between people who have a period and people without one is getting slimmer now. Sometimes people who have periods can’t even afford the menstrual product because they are poor. They sometimes have to choose between a meal or a menstrual product. This is called period poverty and is a big issue. From now on people who have periods don’t have more expenses than people without periods. A step towards equality!

Personal practical tip: We should see this as an example. This should be the norm everywhere. If you work at a public place like a school or a library, discuss the idea of having free menstrual products available. Sometimes it can change everything for someone. In the Netherlands we also have period poverty, one in ten people who have a period can’t afford menstrual products.

28-11 Protest All Animals Free

This is a more personal news flash but I think it’s important. On November 28th I went to a protest at Dierenpark Amersfoort. It’s a zoo. Together with other people I protested against the zoo. We all think locking up animals for their entire life for the sake of entertainment is wrong. Zoos have no educational function since we can’t see the animals in their natural habitat and therefore they don’t behave like they normally would. There is also no preservation since the zoos mostly breed with animals that are not endangered. I think this protest is a good thing and a step forward. Online protesting and speaking out is great but I think these physical protests are even more important. The zoo is confronted with us directly.

Personal practical tip: never ever visit a zoo or dolphinaria. I want to write a more elaborate post on the subject soon. Places where animals are displayed for our entertainment is wrong. Never buy a ticket and if you want to protest too next time: send me a message! Also: send letters to the local municipal to let your voice be heard about this, municipals sponsor zoos unfortunately.

Yours sincerely,

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