Article from the Jan 2005 issue of the Socialist , newspaper of the Socialist Party, Irish section of the CWI

Netherlands: Racist attacks increase

THE MURDER of Theo Van Gogh, who revered Pym Fortuyn and specialised in verbal attacks against Muslims and other minorities, has led to a heightening of racism in society and a series of violent attacks, including a disgusting bomb attack on an Islamic school in Eindhoven on 7 November.

These racist attacks have come in the context of intensifying stigmatisation and discrimination against Muslims, who feel increasingly alienated as a result of religious and racial discrimination, police harassment, unemployment, low pay and poor housing.

Muslims also feel angry about Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende's participation in the so-called "war on terror".

Offensief, the Dutch section of the CWI, mobilised youth in Amsterdam and Rotterdam to protest against this racist terror and government cuts. At these actions, we stressed the necessity for the workers' movement to lead a campaign against the racist attacks and to unite the working class. Such unity was demonstrated recently in the Netherlands as hundreds of thousands of workers and youth, black and white, converged on the streets to oppose the government's vicious cutbacks.

Capitalism has created the conditions for the rise of racism in society with cuts, right wing demagogy and the scapegoating of immigrants for society's ills. This is why Offensief argues that the Dutch workers' movement must advance a socialist programme that includes the demands of decent housing, jobs, a living wage and a fully funded health care and education system in order to combat racism and to unite all working people.



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