Protest in The Hague

Diogenes's picture
cdnEmbassy (7K)

Today was protest day. It was frantic for me. I had to make the Jan 22 news update. Living in the Netherlands, there is this time shift issue I have to deal with . Since I am 6 hours ahead of most of Canada, news arrives kind of late (yesterday's news today!) and the demonstration here in the Hague was one of the first to happen.

So I also had to get my news page updated, the Netherlands Facebook rally group page updated and prepare for a protest/rally that I organized at the last minute. I fully anticipated a rally of one.


The biggest challenge was a sign. I wanted a BIG one. Scanning the many different Facebook sites for ideas and slogans, I decided on this one (shown in actual size). The next challenge was to blow it up an print it.

I have a program that can do this but I barely know how to use it. It's an open-source program called GIMP and it has many of the capabilities of Photoshop. But GIMP is not an easy program to figure out.

Never try to figure out a program when you are under a deadline. It is very stressful.

Using 2 different programs, I ended up printing out the poster on 20 sheets of letter size paper, and then manually cutting and pasting each sheet onto a piece of cardboard from a large moving box.


The end product looked pretty good, except in my haste, I missed the "s" on "Canadians" which I did not notice until it was done (actually I did not notice it until my wife pointed it out). In another panic, I printed out "Canadians" on a separate sheet of paper to glue over top just in case somebody else showed up.

In the end, I was 10 minutes late for my own protest, but since nobody else was there, nobody seemed to mind.

I was alone for about 20 minutes, which felt kinda stupid, and people who walked by looked at me like I was ... uh, fill in the blank. But if you smile, they chat, and you end up trying to explain why you are there.

explaining (8K)

My wife showed up and that was much better because then there were two of us. She is also really good at speaking Dutch, so as a team, we became much better at explaining why we were there.

lonelyProtester (7K)

A couple of guys came out of the embassy and locked it up as they were leaving. One came out and asked what we were doing. I showed him my sign and he had a good laugh - he knew why we were there! No explaining necessary. He took a picture of us with his cell phone (the first picture he had taken with his phone), and he said he would send it "to the boss".

ward2 (8K)

And than Ward joined us, and he had his own protest sign (double-sided), and with that, we became a legitimate protest.

So the three of us walked back and forth in front of the Canadian Embassy and happily explained to anyone, who cared to ask, why we were there. We got very good at it and soon people were offering their encouragement and support because we were protesting (I love the Dutch).

The time went by pretty quickly. We stayed right up until 4:00 even though it was a light drizzle the whole time. We left our signs hanging in the embassy fence, just in case we have to return.


So in the end there were 3 of us in total, though we only have pictures of two protesters. (my wife had to take the pictures). Thank you Ward and Julie, for showing up. It was fun!

I just may do this again. March 3 anyone?