Nieuws - 10 december 2010

Loud student protest in Wageningen

More than six hundred people showed up at the market today for the biggest demonstration in Wageningen for years. Students seem to have realized that the government means business.

Around lunchtime a crowd of students gathered in front of the makeshift podium. The many responses on various social media had indicated that there would be a lot of interest, but the actual turnout seemed to surpass all expectations. And people were not put off by the cold, apparently. Partly thanks, perhaps, to the promise of hot chocolate served by the WSO ('We won't leave students out in the cold.')

Smoke bomb
The leaders stood on the back of a truck and led the public in singing 'Dear Mr. Rutte', by the Wageningen band De langstudeerders [the long-term students]. There were also speeches by Pim Brascamp, the mayor of Wageningen Geert van Rumund ('This will not do our city any good'), the national students union, and youth branches of political parties the VVD (conservatives), Groenlinks (green left) and SP (Socialists).
All those present certainly made themselves heard (with whistles, vuvuzelas and shouting), but it was all every well-behaved and friendly. Until a smoke bomb thrown at the end of the demonstration caused a commotion. But the police were on the spot quickly to eliminate potential fire risks.