Time for action!

Dear people,                                             Amsterdam, December 2019

Tonight I appeal to your engagement for a cause. I am asking you because of your experience in protesting, and organizing.

It is not my intention to discuss climate change topics like the social society, media, national politics, NGO’s, the United Nation and the leaders of the government are talking about all the time. I would like to address another topic that is of as much importance as the climate change: the social position of vulnerable minority groups in our society. I will mention some of them:

  1. People feeling discriminated because of the law of “participation” that is ongoing since nearly 5 years. The most important disappointment for this group is the so called “kostendelersnorm” ; “standard of cost divisor” which means that your social benefits will be cut if you share your household with somebody else. Solidarity is therefore punished. There are people who don’t ask social benefit at all and therefore get underneath the social minimum. Because of the high rents in Amsterdam, they get into debts. Young people are also being caught. It is all about the so called phantom youth that is not registered, and drift about, source: MUG November 2019. Secretary of State Van Ark (social affairs, liberal party VVD) has declared she wants to tighten up the policy by introducing a performance in return. As far as now she doesn’t want to set aside an extra sum of money according to NRC Handelsblad, Friday 22nd of November 2019.
  2. There are many homeless people who drop out. The number of homeless people in the Netherlands has redoubled for the last 10 years. Auxiliary services confirm more and more immigrants get into the shelter for the homeless, according to NRC Handelsblad. The CBS (statistics office) acknowledged  there were 39 000 persons registered as homeless people in 2018 while illegal people have not been registered in this category. The Salvation Army has an explanation for this phenomen: there is a lack of houses that are affordable. Another declaration implies the long waiting lists mental health services. Homeless people often suffer of psychological problems.
  3. Discrimination regarding the employment situation for the so called “allochtonen” (third generation immigrants) and the “autochtonen” (Dutch people and expats as well) is not decreasing. For the last fifteen years persons with a Turkish, Maroccan, Surinam or Antilian background have a quarter less to spend than autochtone Dutch people. Source: RTL 7 that got facts and figures from the Central Plan Board (government organization). Allochtonen still earn less than autochtonen with the same curriculum vitae. They have less chances to get a job and furthermore they have a fewer hourly wage. Discrimination also blocks the chances of getting an internship among allochtone MBO pupils, according to Algemeen Dagblad. The ‘leenstelsel” which implies a feudal system that means you have to loan in order to study. For people with few money it is not easy to have their children at university let alone themselves.
  4. Childcare is also a crucial issue. More than 4 years after the transfer of responsibilities, associated with savings, the bottleneck has increased. Too many children don’t get help in time because of the long waiting lists. Paperwork obstructs the fieldwork and the staff turnover as well as the absenteeism obstruct a smoothly way of working, according to NRC Handelsblad. There was a big disappointment last  month on Monday the 18th, after the debate regarding youth care in the Parliament. There need to happen right now, with extra budget. The federal delegation that witnessed the debate, got away ahead of time with anger since the ministers only talked about systems.
  5.  Jewish community: words may murder, and so there is a need of compelled lessons about antisemitism. The true solution is not only linked to the government. The real combat starts at school. Make therefore programs compulsory and stimulate acquaintance with other cultures. This is a quote of Eddo Verdoner of the Central Jewish Central Consultation that was written in daily paper Trouw at 7th May 2019. Antisism is like a mildew in the shelter of the society, that is awaiting fertile soil. This may be found in growing of social unrest, economic malaise or simply thanks to a politician seeking for power. I could add in a private capacity that people with a non western background are also dupe of hatred feelings; moslims and refugees.

I could have pleadfurthermore with the consequences of the new Law Care and Force for demented eldery people (1 out of 5 gets dementia). And the Law compelled care Mental Health that come into effect on January first 2020. Or could I have spot the growing poverty (300 000 children living in poverty) and the amount of “voedselbanken”  (food centers) . Or should I have focused on the Sander Dekker’s intention (minister of protection of law) to get rid of legal aid lawyers. Or the nurses who work in health care where privatizing  didn’t work out  and even leaded to bankruptcy of hospitals? The teachers who work under high pressure and aren’t complete: this all costs the education level. The agriculture firms as well as construction firms being unfairly treated as a consequence of nitrogen policy. And this, for the sake of construction permits in charge of the government! The position of refugees in our land that is one of the most difficult countries to get a permit, etc.

In that case I would have been in a fix with my speaking time.

The situation of today is intolerable. The politicians are to blame. In the meanwhile nothing is being done to improve the wellbeing of the marginalized groups.  

In spite of all the shortcomings in the system, I am optimistic. Because I know we can do better. With each other and for each other. Mutual aid according to Peter Kropotkin, over a century later. A bloodless evolution that guides us towards the future with at ease is possible!

Amsterdam stands for determination, heroism, charity. Let ‘s carry this out. If possible, at the occasion of a meeting among the Lieverdje at the SPUI. You may read the date and time for the first demonstration on weblog www.pronkstukjes.com.

If every minority group is represented, we are no longer a minority group but rather a majority group!

With combative greetings, annemarije.pronk@gmail.com    

Armoirie Amsterdam