He is destructive Mare Online

Tuesday afternoon Thierry Baudet visited the Leidse Lammermarkt with his ‘Freedom caravan’. In addition to loyal followers, bored students also came to watch. “It’s the first open air concert of the year.”

‘I think you are a Romeo, with your mouth mask: such a quiet one’, an elderly man with a Forum for Democracy hat shouts to the Mare-reporter. ‘Take that thing off nicely, boy’, the blonde Vanessa (54) agrees. “That doesn’t work!”

She is on Tuesday afternoon at the Lammermarkt to see her hero Thierry Baudet give a speech in person, during the ‘Freedom Caravan’. According to her, he is ‘the only politician in The Hague who can believe you’.

There are two clearly distinguishable groups present, which do not really mix. Born and raised from Leiden, with a cigarette or a can of energy drink in hand, grumbling about corona measures, hired counter-protesters and expensive climate plans. The student supporters, significantly in the minority, are dressed formally and seem somewhat uncomfortable.

Samuel from Voorschoten belongs to the second group. He has come neatly in a three-piece suit and sees the caravan for the second time this week. ‘In Utrecht, Antifa was suddenly there to disrupt things. Then there was a lot of commotion. Maybe they are like that here too. ‘ Fairly shortly afterwards, demonstrators do arrive with pans and whistles. ‘Look, they are the biggest terrorists in the Netherlands,’ says Sander Smit, a student of English language and literature, pointing to the group.

The counter-demonstration consists of a handful of students with beanies, a few over-60s in SP sweaters and some people with an LGBTQ + background. Their number is too small to make a lot of noise, but that doesn’t matter, says history student Sam Broere. ‘You have to fight fascism everywhere you come across it. Just standing here is enough. ‘

From the podium, Baudet says he is pleased with the turnout. “The mainstream media say that eighty percent of the people want a lockdown, but just look at how full this square is,” he gestures to the few hundred attendees. “Tomorrow we will take back the Netherlands and our freedom!”

However, the largest group in attendance seems to be the disaster tourists. History student Bram Gerrits says he was bored. “Just like most of the attendees: I know almost everyone here.” He shrugs. “It’s the first open-air concert of the year, man. You have to do something. ‘

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