The Staphorst-Rouveen Entrepreneurs Association will stop organizing the annual Sinterklaas arrival in Staphorst. The committee says it “does not agree with the conditions that the municipality imposes on Piet’s appearance and the entry itself.” The municipality says it does not impose any conditions on the appearance of the Piets.
The Sinterklaas arrival in Staphorst got out of hand last year. Activists from Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) were attacked by rioters. Observers from Amnesty International were also targeted.
The municipality has had several discussions with the Sinterklaas committee about this year’s arrival, but Mayor Jan ten Kate van Staphorst denies that the municipality imposes conditions on Piet’s appearance.
“In those conversations, scenarios were discussed for the entry, a scenario with soot sweeping Petes was undoubtedly one of them,” he says to RTV Oost. “The safety requirements are stricter than in previous years, I admit. The risk profile is greater, so we ask more questions. But the appearance of Piet was not among them.”
The Sinterklaas committee claims that this was the case. The organization believes that “enough concessions have been made by switching to the Staphorster stipwerkpiet”, as can be read in a message on Facebook. “This means that after 28 years it ends here for the Staphorst-Rouveen Entrepreneurs’ Association,” said the committee.
According to RTV Oost, the Pete that the committee wants is completely painted in black with small dots on the cheeks. It is unclear whether the parade will take place this year. It is also not known whether another party will take on the organization.
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- Amnesty reports threats and destruction around the arrival of St. Staphorst