Posts Tagged With: Malieveld

Demonstrations in The Hague (Or: Malieveld and Koekamp)

Today there were two separate but simultaneous demonstrations at the Malieveld: a demonstration against the government’s corona measures (at Malieveld) and a demonstration for climate action (at the nearby Koekamp).

The maximum number of demonstrators for the Malieveld is 200 (and it used to be 100), a number that was quickly reached more than an hour before the scheduled 14:00 start time. When the police tried to prevent additional demonstrators from entering Malieveld, the demonstrators simply started marching through the city centre, including towards Plein 1813 (Dutch Wikipedia) on the northern side of the city centre. After that the police turned a blind eye to demonstrators joining the demonstration at Malieveld, for a time. By 15:30, the police said the demonstrators needed to leave immediately. Around 15:45 the police started clearing Malieveld by force, using mounted officers and water cannons.

Earlier in the afternoon all incoming trains to The Hague were (briefly) cancelled, which meant that you could only leave The Hague, not enter it. The train service has since resumed, however. The Hague’s tram and bus service is also slightly disrupted, with four trams (9, 15, 16 and 17) and one bus (20) running alternative routes at the moment. That is to be expected, though, since so many people are criss-crossing the tracks and roads around Malieveld.

The local website has a three hour video (on YouTube, 3 hours long). They also have pictures taken throughout the afternoon of the situation. Just another day for Malieveld though – there have been a number of anti-corona demonstrations in the last year.

I think there was a fair amount of food behind, since the Malieveld is currently residence to about 20-30 seagulls. Hmm.

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Horse-drawn carriage rides (Or: Another sign of Spring)

I returned to the Malieveld for a long walk for the first time in months. It is a large grass field just outside of The Hague’s Central station where events are held. It reminds me of last fall when they were setting up for the carnival. Apparently that was in September – time really does fly, it seems.

On the way to Malieveld I spotted a horse-drawn carriage:

While you do have the opportunity to take horse-drawn carriage rides, it is not something you see every day. I only see them a few times of the year. I am also pleased to report that I walk at the speed of a slow horse-drawn carriage, apparently. Or actually I was slightly faster. I think they turned right before entering the Malieveld to go into the Koekamp, probably to let the tourists take pictures of the deer. (Feel free to click the link again if you want to see cute pictures of deer.)

In other news: Dutch clubbers hit the dancefloor for study into easing lockdown from If I remember correctly this is one of the events where the tickets were gone in 20 minutes. You have to have a negative test to enter the event, and there is also random “fast” testing at the door as well. In theory you also need to get yourself tested within 5 days after the event, but not everyone does. During the event you are divided into groups, each group with a different level of corona measures (face mask, no face mask, concessions at seat, you can get concessions yourself, etc.) Each visitor has to wear a device as well to track their movements. It will be interesting to see what data comes out of it.

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Swans and ducks by Koekamp (Or: November has arrived)

Yesterday I went to Malieveld, the first time in a few months. The last time I was there it was summer and oh so nice and warm… but I chose to avoid it for a while because of the carnival taking up most of the area.

On the way to Malieveld I passed by Koekamp, a small park with deer, swan and ducks. This time I saw more swans then I ever have:

In the background joggers and cyclists rush past. I also saw a swan chasing after two poor ducks for whatever reason. Maybe they stole its lunch?

It’s definitely fall now. Leaves are falling off the trees in buckets, with a cold breeze and spitting rain (motregen in Dutch).

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A month of festivities (Or: Biggest carnival in the Netherlands at the Malieveld)

On Friday the biggest carnival in the Netherlands this year opened at the Malieveld. Over 90 attractions have been set up. The carnival is open a full month (11 September to 11 October). Check out some photos over at

The local news site Omroep West has some more information about the corona precautions, including two entrances and exits fitted with a digital counting system (the maximum visitors at any one time is 5,000, which still seems like a lot). There are also extra wide paths in most areas.

With that being said, I think I’ll skip it this year. Marco and I usually only take a walk around it and maybe buy some oliebollen before we leave. And now the city has promised us oliebollen from 1 October, so we should be fine to wait a few more weeks for that.

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More than applause (Or: Shoes at the Malieveld)

While out walking today I spotted some shoes by the Malieveld. And by “some shoes” I actually mean hundreds of pairs of shoes. Today healthcare workers held a demonstration called #meerdanapplaus (more than applause). You can probably guess what that is about – it’s great that everyone claps for healthcare workers, but what about giving them a raise and hiring more workers to to prevent burnout? The sector did receive an 1000 euro bonus and is slated to receive a 500 euro bonus next year but more could be done.

Due to the corona restrictions, the healthcare workers couldn’t be there in person, so they sent their shoes instead. (After the demonstration the shoes will be sent to various charities.)

In a similar vein, do you remember my post about Irma Sluis, the Dutch sign language interpreter who stole the hearts of thousands with her “panic buying” sign? In Dutch panic buying (or hoarding) is translated as hamsteren, since hamsters are known to squirrel away food. Since there was no official sign for that term in Dutch sign language, it was created earlier that day.

The Tweede Kamer (Dutch House of Representatives) passed a motion earlier this week to recognize Dutch sign language as an official language (, article in Dutch). The language is used by about 15,000 residents. The law also states that Dutch sign language interpreters must be used more often by the government, for example during important press conferences. The article mentions the fact that sign language courses have seen a huge boost due to the “Irma” effect, although there is still more that could be done. At least it is something positive to come out of this crazy year.

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The beginnings of a protest (Or: Who needs corona laws?)

Today’s photo comes from Malieveld yesterday morning, just before lunchtime. Apparently there was a demonstration against the upcoming coronaspoedwet (corona emergency law) that the Dutch government is currently working on.

This is actually the beginning, as people had just begun to arrive. In the end the demonstration grew to a few thousand people. There’s a video at Zo’n 2.500 mensen demonstreren tegen coronaspoedwet op Malieveld.

On the way back there was a group of three people who took up most of the path. Since they didn’t move to the left of the path I deliberately made a wide arc and started walking in the grass for a while to avoid them. I figured they were part of an anti-corona demonstration so they probably couldn’t care less about keeping the proper amount of space between me and them.

In other news: Mind your Ps: Amsterdam installs plant pot street urinals to improve toilet manners from Interesting idea. It can only help – people are going to find a place to pee whether or not one of these exists. If you’re lucky, they find a corner in the shadow. If you’re not, well, then, you need to look the other way. Generally there is a bigger problem with outdoor peeing (wildplassen in Dutch) at night, so it makes sense that the urinals are only open at night; during the day the plant urinal “doors” are closed. (There’s also hidden urinals near the Grote Kerk in The Hague – they only pop out of the ground at night. During the day you only see an innocent looking circle on the ground.)

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Invasion of the farmers (Or: Part 2)

Okay – it wasn’t exactly an invasion. Not like last time anyway, when farmers in trackers stormed the Malieveld and destroyed the grass. More like a small skirmish. The Dutch government has stated that if cows are fed cattle feed that is less protein rich there will be less nitrogen released which will allow the construction sector to build new homes (aka one sector makes less nitrogen pollution to allow another sector to keep polluting).

The farmers were understandably less than thrilled about that plan so they drove their tractors to The Hague to protest outside of the Binnenhof during yesterday’s vote. In the end the vote was delayed until 01:30 early Friday morning, and then delayed again to 03:30. See also Central The Hague sealed off to angry farmers as MPs vote to cut protein in animal feed from

The government ultimately decided to go ahead with the plan to reduce protein in the cattle feed. In an attempt to prevent the chaos that happened last October, the military was called in to block off certain streets so that tractors wouldn’t disrupt the city too much today.

I decided to take a quick walk over to the Malieveld this afternoon to see what was going on. The only thing I found was a van from the national public television company (NOS) waiting for something newsworthy to happen. But by this point all of the farmers were gone, so they were just standing around. Poor NOS reporters!

If you are interested in more photos check out the article Boeren protesteren tegen de voermaatregel from (Farmers protest against the feed measure).

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Waiting for the tram (Or: Summer days)

Yesterday I took a picture of a group of riders waiting for the tram at the front of The Hague Centraal:

It looks a bit chaotic with not enough distance between passengers, but in any other year except 2020 this would have been 3 or 4 times more crowded, as tram 9 is the tram to the beach. So this is actually a vast improvement.

As noted, today there may or may not be activity at the Malieveld due to the Viruswaanzin or “Virus madness” demonstration that was (for a second time) banned by The Hague mayor. You’ll never guess what the police confiscated last night:

sidewalk chalk (!).

Or read the article from regio15 (in Dutch): Politie neemt stoepkrijt in beslag bij het Malieveld. I think that is going too far – if you check the pictures the persons were drawing lots and lots hearts and writing ‘vrijheid’ and ‘liefde’ (freedom and love) occasionally. There are still chalk messages on the paths around Malieveld about Black Lives Matter and ‘Racism is not just an American problem’, which is true. According to the police the problem isn’t the demonstrators so much as the other people who plan to come, including football hooligans. That was the case last week, but only time will tell if that is the case today.

On an interesting note: officially sidewalk chalk was banned on all public surfaces before 2017, even if little children were drawing. But that rule was never really enforced. You can read more in Dutch at Gemeente Den Haag heft stoepkrijtverbod op.

And finally, the police are already starting to warn people to stay away today: Politie waarschuwt eerste betogers die naar het Malieveld zijn gekomen (

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Veteran’s Day interviews at the Malieveld (Or: Another difference this year)

In previous years I have posted about the Veteran’s Day activities in The Hague – generally there is a parade and events at the Malieveld. However, things are different this year due to the corona crisis. But I was able to spot a veteran being interviewed at the Malieveld yesterday:

It’s possible the interview will show up in a piece on the national broadcast newschannel (NOS) today or perhaps a short-lived TV commercial.

Oh, and I was nice enough to crop the horse… leavings… out of the photo. Welcome to The Netherlands. Occasionally mounted police patrol the city, especially during events like the should-not-have-been-held demonstration last weekend on the Malieveld. Or maybe it was from a Black Lives Matter demonstration the week before that. But then no one cleans up after the police horses, so the excrement sits there for weeks.

And speaking of that should-not-have-been-held demonstration from last week: the group requested again to hold a demonstration tomorrow at the Malieveld but they were again denied by the mayor of The Hague – see this article at The leader said that he would still come as an individual (not a demonstrator) and asked other demonstrators to come as “individuals” as well.

Maybe they should bring picnic baskets? Considering there were over 400 arrests last Sunday, it looks like it will again be interesting in The Hague tomorrow…

Edited to add: the leader is now saying that he will no longer come to the Malieveld and he requests that other demonstrators also do not come (article in Dutch at

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Malieveld (Or: Sit-ins, flowers, picnicking)

As I mentioned a few days ago, the mayor of The Hague refused to allow a festival against corona restrictions to happen today (see article from This was because the expected attendance grew from 100 to 10,000 and the organization billed it more as an “event” than a demonstration, including having DJs along with speakers. And since events aren’t allowed right now, it was only logical that it would not be allowed.

But as you might expect, this doesn’t stop everyone from showing up. There were about 10 arrests earlier this morning, of a group who refused to leave when the police requested that they do so. Some of the sticking points include the fact that the city has held two Black Lives Matter festivals in the last few weeks and that the Netherlands was poised to sign a corona measures law to replace the current emergency ordinances we have in place that are due to expire soon. That law has since been delayed amid some controversy that it impedes on fundamental rights (it would have even given police power over situations in private housing). See also this article from

Around lunchtime the number of demonstrators had increased to a few hundred and everyone was asked to leave the Malieveld, including people sunbathing or exercising. Most of the demonstrators moved to the edges of the Malieveld but did not leave. A few hours later there are a few thousand people at the demonstration. The mayor did allow them to demonstrate until 13:30, but considering he said that around 13:05 or 13:10, I can see why that annoyed a lot of people.

Duizenden betogers nemen Malieveld over, politie sluit Binnenhof en winkelgebied af from ‘Thousands of protestors take over Malieveld; police close off Binnenhof and the central shopping area’. However the number of protestors does vary by news site. The police also described the area as ‘tense’ a while ago while local news reporters said it was fairly relaxed. So it does depend on where you get are getting your sources from.

Closing the Binnenhof is fairly standard procedure to prevent demonstrators from going there, and I don’t think the shopping area is closed in the city centre, more that they are keeping a close eye on who is entering it to make sure demonstrators don’t enter. (As much as possible – there are reports of demonstrators with ‘stop the lockdown’ shirts and demonstrators handing out flowers to random shoppers.) Oh, and I also saw a photo of group of demonstrators with ‘free hugs’ shirts on, which is no doubt done on purpose in these corona times. I also saw on Twitter that people were being encouraged to celebrate Father’s Day by having a picnic on the Malieveld.

At this point (around 14:30), some people have begun to leave the area. However football supporters have arrived (see the tweet above) and the police are asking people not to go to the city centre anymore. There’s also at least one helicopter flying overhead. With that being said – demonstrations in the Netherlands are peaceful, and it makes sense that emotions will boil over in this situation, on both sides.

The local news site does have a live stream (for now) on YouTube. They do report that the connection is a bit spotty at times.

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