So if you keep up with the blog, you already know that I was present at the socialist/communist rally on May Day in Amsterdam. Having some rather socialist ideals myself, I was incredibly interested in everything that was going on, even if I couldn't read most of it. We were typical Americans standing in the middle of a huge political demonstration that was clearly anti-capitalism. Standing there in my bright blue (most Europeans wear drab colors, and the only color at the rally was red, I stood out like a sore thumb) drinking a coca-cola light and holding a bag of souveniers, I'll admit I was mildly terrified at some points, particularly when one of the communist Dutch rappers started singing a lullaby punctuated by him miming shooting random people in the audience. We were completely safe the entire time we were watching, and in fact we were welcomed to browse the various booths, I was given a free poster from the Socialist party, but it was enough to make us sweat a bit. After two days in Amsterdam of art museums in the morning and afternoon, and the utter insanity of the Queen's Day crowds at night, we were finally in the middle of something alive and active. The government in Holland and the way the political parties handle themselves was incredible. Nothing like what we witnessed could ever happen in America, not just because of the far leftist ideologies, but because political parties in America simply don't cooperate. The Labor Party of Iran, The Socialist Party, the Groen Werkt (Green) Party, and numerous other that I didn't understand the names of all gathered around, pushing their shared ideals in an effort to gain seats in Parliament, it was kind of inspiring in a way. I walked away with a poster, a wristband, an English print Socialist paper, and several videos of some completely ill communist rap. Then, just as I began to flex my Dutch and speak a bit of the language, we left for Antwerp, then Brussels... where they speak French.
Posted at 3:32 PM by Aaron Robertson