Occupy Amsterdam: some impressions

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“Give us our money back, dude!”

Following in the footsteps of Occupy Wall Street and other recent big city protests in London, Rome and Brussels, Amsterdam started its ‘occupation’ on Saturday, 15 October with some 1500 people. On Sunday, 16 October, only some die hards in tents were left, with many people visiting and listening to speakers in circles sitting on the ground telling stories about capitalism. There was also food and people singing Bob Dylan songs.

Some Dutch tweeps (Twitter users) were wondering how long the people on the Beursplein (our Wall Street, if you will) would 1) stay camping 2) be allowed by the police to keep camping. By Dutch standards, it’s getting cold outside and today some people will have to go to work at some point.

And yes, it looks more like a student protest, but in all fairness, the slogans were good and very much to the point: banks are totally screwing us. The Dutch have had bank troubles with DSB (bankrupt in 2009), ABN Amro (acquired and broken up by the government in 2009) and ING, although the latter paid its debt back in full, if I am not mistaken. The Belgians had a nasty fight with Fortis (partially Dutch owned at the time) and are now in a crisis with Dexia, partially owned by the French.

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