The municipality of Amsterdam called the possible appearance of conspiracy theorist David Icke at a demonstration on Dam Square “very undesirable.” The city asked the Dutch immigration service, IND, to investigate if he can be refused entry into the country.
Icke could possibly visit the Samen voor Nederland demonstration on the city center square on 6 November. Mayor Femke Halsema and the heads of the district police and prosecutor’s office agreed that the stature of the National Monument on Dam Square is at stake, should he speak there, they said on Wednesday. This is because of the social unrest which his eventual arrival would almost certainly cause, according to the municipality.
The city’s website describes the monument as “the Netherlands’ most important memorial to World War II.” It reminds people daily about the atrocities of the war, and those who died during it. The monument is also the site of the National Remembrance Day ceremony.
Jewish and Israel advocacy group, CIDI, called Icke a “conspiracy theorist, anti-Semite, and Holocaust denier.” The group asked Amsterdam and the Ministry of Justice and Security to bar him from attending the demonstration. The ministry oversees the immigration office.
Icke is known for a conspiracy theory claiming that reptilians – a powerful group of alien reptiles posing as humans – secretly rule humanity. Similar statements have recently been made by Forum voor Democratie leader Thierry Baudet, though Baudet said he was being metaphorical. According to Icke’s critics, “reptilians” are a metaphor for a secret group of elites made up mostly of Jewish people. The conspiracy said they are behind an all-powerful secret world government.
Amsterdam said the mayor, police, and prosecutor’s office appealed to the demonstration’s organizers to withdraw Icke’s invitation, and relocate the rally to another place in the city. The municipality said Icke has made anti-Semitic statements in the past that are “unacceptable and deeply hurtful.”
The municipality emphasized that the local government should not interfere with the content of a demonstration. However, the Public Prosecution Service can act if Icke is guilty of criminal offenses during his speech, the municipality wrote in a statement. “Any speech will be closely monitored by the public prosecutor to assess whether criminal statements are being made.” The leadership will also monitor public order around the demonstration and will, “if possible and necessary, move it or otherwise act.”
Samen voor Nederland, or Together for the Netherlands, organized the rally on 6 November, called “No War Just Peace.” Its organizers push multiple divisive calls to action, including an end to the war in Ukraine by no longer supporting Ukraine, an end to environmental policies that hinder the farming and agricultural business, and support for the Netherlands to leave the European Union. The group has also been opposed to all restrictions put in place over the last few years to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Icke’s attendance as the keynote speaker was announced late last week. He has been feeding anti-Semitic theories and denying the Holocaust since the 1990s, said CIDI. “His books are full of raw anti-Semitism, and Icke flirts with Holocaust denial.”
The organization said it was disgraceful that the rally will happen at Dam Square, “The place where our National Monument stands as a symbol of our freedom.”
Reporting by ANP and NL Times
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