May 5th: Whose Freedom are we celebrating?

In ‘45 this freedom didn’t loosen the colonial grip the Netherlands had on Suriname, the (Dutch) Antilles, New Guinea and Indonesia. Contrary to the rhetoric, the Dutch-supported invasion of Iraq in 2003 did not lead to the liberation of the Iraqi people. In 2009 none of the memories of the Dutch struggles against oppression kept the Netherlands from boycotting the UN Conference against Racism and today, in 2014, there aren’t enough red-white-and-blues to cover the inhumanities of the Dutch asylum regime. Since the Netherlands are still complicit in restricting the freedoms of non-white communities domestically and globally… whose liberties are we celebrating? This question is thrown into sharp relief when we consider the fate of the four pregnant members of the We Are Here-group, the well known migrant activist collective protesting against Dutch asylum policies. Our most recent conversations with Hanane and Fartuna, two of the four pregnant members, added a new layer to our understandings of the communities whose flags won’t be flirting with the wind today. During yesterday’s meeting about our call for baby supplies we learned that their lives have taken a dramatic turn. The women, bellies swollen with future and eyes marked by fatigue, call for conversations about political homelessness and its impact on both the housing and health care of the new families.

S. Zeefuik in May 5th: Whose Freedom are we celebrating? (Lazeefuik)