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Amsterdam: Statement about the ‘Justice for Sammy’ demonstration by the organising group

Amsterdam. Netherlands. Report back from the demonstration Justice for Sammy.

Originally published by Indymedia NL.

Last Friday, August 13, marked exactly one year after Sammy was murdered. On this occasion, the third demonstration against police brutality and for justice for Sammy was organised. The demonstration, attended by several hundred people, started on Dam Square and ended at the spot where Sammy was murdered.

Sammy, a person of colour from Germany, came to Amsterdam last year to celebrate his 23rd birthday. After smoking a joint, he went into a psychosis and ran away from his friends. After finding the confused young man, the police did not allow his mother, who had come to Amsterdam to help find Sammy, to go to him. Instead, they shot her son whilst Sammy clearly did not represent a lethal threat to any of the officers there. None of the 2 shooters will be prosecuted.

The demo was announced to the city council to give the police no reason to break it up before it started and for safety considerations for Sammy’s parents. It was agreed in advance that the police would not be visibly present. Of course, they didn’t keep this agreement and police officers in uniform followed behind the demo and had undercover presence. The police told the organisation that anti-cop chants were not allowed and as the organisers, we announced this from the stage. Again, this was done out of safety considerations for all participants in the demo; we thought everybody ought to be informed on restrictions by the cops. Many individuals that joined the protest evidently did not agree with that form of repression We expected undercover presence and were actively trying to find police collaborators, but weren’t able to narrow this down to specific individuals. Unfortunately, one left-wing protester was arrested for allegedly ‘insulting the police’. They locked this person up for 2 nights, which by itself is again an absurd abuse of power. This indicates that there are still many actions to be taken against police brutality of any kind and underlines the necessity to actively work together with all anti-fascists on this front and stand up for one another.

Despite the fact that the demonstration was organised by a broad range of members from radical left-wing organisations, we found ourselves having to deal with fascist scum. We were aware that some Museumplein wappies might decide to turn up because of their rediscovered hate for the police. Together with the family it was decided that as long as they kept their corona conspiracy nonsense out of our demos we would be okay with them. This decision was made considering their past help to Sammy’s family. As these wappies arrived on Dam Square when the demo began, it was clear that there was a known NVU Nazi among that group. She was unkindly told to leave immediately and she did. The rest of the these people could be assigned to the corona-denying, ‘coffee-at-Museumplein’ wappie spectrum. Their anti-corona chants were drowned out by comrades several times until they stopped trying. We agreed that this demo is not about corona and that they would leave their political messages out that day, since at least 90 % of the demo clearly did not agree.

These wappie people, as we understood them to be at that time, in our opinion hijacked the demo by marching next to the family in front of our block. As we started to chant ‘Black Lives Matter’ one of them turned around and screamed ‘all lives matter’. Several anti-fascists responded to that in the way that it should be dealt with. Unfortunately, the police was around. The cops were of course very eager to have many anti-fascists in cuffs, and it was decided that they should not have that pleasure because of some ignorant corona-wappies.

Unfortunately, after the demo had ended, several of the people thought to be regular wappies were identified as Pegida members and other organised fascists. As soon as we arrived at the location where Sammy was killed the ‘all-lives-matter’-guy attempted to take pictures of our comrades and threatened to give those to the police. This also received a response, however, the silence that the family wished for had to be respected, and we were in the initial understanding these were ‘regular’ wappies. The decision made by 30-ish anti-fascists at Dam Square, that chose to deal with this issue by leaving, is unacceptable. We should stay together as comrades in emotionally challenging situations. They should have told the organisation that they had spotted known organised fascists amongst the wappies, so we could have dealt with them collectively.

It is certain that we will be confronted with right-wingers and right-wing infiltration on the road to a liberated society. These situations can not be avoided, but should be tackled. The yellow vest movement has been a recent example, where anti-fascists receive support from that movement by attempting to kick out fascists. We are sorry that our BIPoc, Jewish and queer comrades were exposed to a potential risk. If we had known these scumbags were organised fascists, we would have dealt with it and never allow one of ours to be in a potentially dangerous situation. Furthermore, we hope our determination to fight if necessary was visible. Next to be a collective front against police brutality, all anti-fascists need to support and inform each other in the battle against fascists and fascist infiltration of any kind. We need to work together to keep them away from our actions and the actions of our allies. No anti-fascist should silently walk away in these situations.

To end on a positive note; the demo was loud, angry, and interrupted the status quo on busy spots in Amsterdam. People were forced to listen to the story about Sammy’s murder and our demand for a world without police (violence) was clear.

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