New Year festivities marred by racist illuminations — RT World News
Offensive messages were projected onto the side of a bridge in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, amid New Year’s Eve celebrations
Rotterdam police are looking for unknown perpetrators who posted offensive and racist messages on the Erasmus Bridge in the center of the city amid New Year’s Eve festivities.
The attacking display appeared just after the start of the new year early on Sunday, amid celebrations centered around the bridge. Although the planned fireworks display was canceled due to high winds in the area, large numbers of revelers were still present at the site to ‘enjoy’ the messages, while the whole event was also broadcast live on RTL 4.
The offensive posts included the notorious fourteen words of the late American white supremacist and convicted national terrorist David Lane, widely used by various neo-Nazis and white supremacists around the world, as well as the slogan “White Lives Matter”.
Other messages were in Dutch and seemed to be more specific to the Netherlands. The display wished revelers ‘Happy White 2023’, using the word “Empty,” considered discriminatory and antiquated, and effectively signifying a lack of skin color. Another message read “Zwarte Piet did nothing wrong”. He was apparently referring to the recent cancel culture campaign against a local traditional Christmas character and St. Nicholas sidekick, Black Pete, considered by critics to be a highly offensive blackface display.
The incident was strongly condemned by the authorities, with Rotterdam’s deputy mayor, Ronald Buijt, telling the RTL television channel that the slogans were “gross and polarizing” while the city itself was a place “where everyone is equal.”
Local police believe the racist messages were posted on the bridge by a group of attackers operating from a boat. “As we now estimate, the images were projected from a boat. The images move a bit. It’s rather sloppy. We don’t believe it was done by the organization that normally deals with the bridge lighting. are looking into that too,” a police spokesman told RTL.
Organizers of the bridge lighting and fireworks have strongly denied any involvement, insisting they did not know of the incident until the following morning. “We had seen texts like ‘Happy New Year’ appear on the bridge in the evening, so we didn’t pay too much attention to it,” a spokesperson told AD newspaper.
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