KRALENDIJK – Judging by the turnout at a protest march on Friday, the residents of the island are completely fed up with the delays by successive cabinets in The Hague in determining the so-called Social Minimum.
Thirteen years after acquiring the status of a Public Entity within The Netherlands, a realistic minimum income to lead a decent life is still not being considered.
Unlike previous protest actions, Friday’s protest received massive support. The USIBO, an umbrella organization of unions on the island, played a leading role in organizing the protest, but they were supported by many other groups, including political parties, the press, and consumer organization Unkobon.
Radio personality Aimed Ayubi, from the station Live99FM, says he counted between 2,500 and 3,000 participants in the protest march.
The protest against the apparent unwillingness to finally make decisions on the minimum subsistence level enjoys broad support among the population. This is evident from the fact that all political parties, both those in the governing coalition and the opposition, are calling on citizens to join the protest. Additionally, it was noticeable that all ethnic groups on the island actively participated in the protest march.
Organizers of the march, including union leaders Norwin Willem and Ewald Abdul, are proud of the size and peaceful nature of the protests. “We are all showing that enough is enough. But despite the strong indignation, the demonstrators have behaved exemplary,” says Willem.