Right-wing populist leader attacks lottery funded NGOs

Association

Netherland’s largest charity lottery, De Nationale Postcode Loterij, is under fire from right-wing populist party Forum voor Democratie (Forum for Democracy, FvD) for supporting what they call ‘activists and extreme-left organisations’. In an article on their website, FvD accuses the lottery of supporting groups that ‘work against the interest of the citizens’. The article names ten NGOs, including large international organisations such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International, along with the amount of funding each of these organisations receive from the lottery. It sets out how these organisations - which work on a wide range of topics including climate change, human rights, refugee rights and the bio-industry - are harming citizens.

In a radio interview, FvD Party leader Thierry Baudet explained that his party wants to take on organisations that “mobilise public money for their left-activist agenda”. He proposes several measures, ranging from giving people the choice to decide which charity their money should go to, setting up an additional lottery that runs parallel to the current one and retracting De Nationale Postcode Loterij’s permit. He also wants to change the law that allows foundations and associations to go to court with public interest matters. He believes that what is in the public interest should be decided by politicians and not the courts because even judges act as ‘activists’ sometimes.

Peaceful Assembly

Police in The Hague blocked a protest planned by taxi drivers against the country’s Corona virus (COVID-19) measures on 31st March 2020. Taxi drivers are upset because they do not qualify for the once-off €4,000 compensation payment given to businesses, like bars and restaurants, which are directly affected by the shutdown. There is currently a limit on the number of people allowed to gather socially in the Netherlands. Although police were unsure how many drivers were meant to gather, they patrolled parts of the highway into the city as a precaution.

Expression

The Public Prosecution Services (OM) in the Netherlands has decided that the Dutch version of the anti-LGBT Nashville Declaration is not a criminal offence under Dutch law. In January 2019 Christian newspaper Reformatorisch Dagblad published the declaration which was signed by hundreds of religious people . The manifesto rejects homosexuality and states that marriage is only acceptable when it is between a man and a woman. It adds that one’s sexual identity can be ‘healed’. The OM states that the decision not to prosecute is based on Freedom of Expression and Religion guaranteed by the Dutch Constitution.