On March 2, 2022, Mayor Aboutaleb sent the Rotterdam city council a letter about the evaluation of the police action during the Residential Revolt demonstration on October 17, 2021. The triangle – Mayor Aboutaleb, the Rotterdam police chief and the Chief Public Prosecutor – conducted this evaluation in the context of of the motion 'Evaluate in dialogue' that was adopted by the city council on November 11, 2021.
Unfortunately, we note that the evaluation by the triangle is seriously deficient and cannot be seen as a proper justification for the police action. The evaluation by the triangle does not reflect on how police action relates to the right to demonstrate. The triangle emphasizes poor communication, both internally and with us, but fails to take a critical look at the role of the police's own choices and how they have led to escalation. There seems to be no awareness or acknowledgment that the police should facilitate a demonstration as much as possible and that the threshold to act against disorder should be very high. The incidents that according to the triangle would have occurred do not justify the excessive and violent intervention.
When asked, an Amnesty representative also informed us that the evaluation is insufficient to draw lessons.
We have come to the conclusion on the basis of the evaluation that we will not enter into a dialogue with the triangle about the police action during the demonstration. We see no basis for restoring the trust necessary for further discussion and the joint formulation of lessons.
We emphasize once again that serious accountability for the excessive and violent police action during the demonstration on October 17, 2021 is necessary not only for us as organizers and all demonstrators present at the time, but also for the demonstration right and the safety of demonstrators at future demonstrations in Rotterdam and secure elsewhere. We are deeply concerned about how since then the police and mayors in other cities have responded to (announced) housing demonstrations, in which the police and/or mayors have always acted on the basis of a fear of incidents when there is actually no reason to do so.
Read our letter here: Reaction Residential Revolt to evaluation triangle (5 April 2022)