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3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

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1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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'Council member snubbed language police'

25 October 2008 - Taalverdediging (Language Defence), and organisation that has been associated with far right groups, is campaigning against the use of the term 'real time parking' in Amsterdam. Council member Mirjam Bergervoet (PvdA) would have hung up on them.

When the organisation called Bergervoet about the issue, she would have asked them "how we dared bother her with something as absurd as that", the Taalverdediging newsletter reported. She would have said that her party has no problem whatsoever with the use of the English language, since everybody here understands that language. After that, she would have hung up on the language activists.

The organisation AFA, which publishes a regular digest of the right-wing media, applauds Bergervoet's response. Meanwhile, Bergervoet herself disputes Taalverdediging's account of what happened. Asked whether what the organisation claims happened is correct, she responded 'Of course not!' in an e-mail. She would have ended the conversation when it became clear that there was 'little sense' in continuing the discussion given the fanaticism of the Taalverdediging representative.

According to the Taalverdediging newsletter, other parties would have responded more politely to their calls. An SP policy advisor would have said that the increasing use of the English language by the municipality reflects a 'grachtengordel' (elitist) mentality.

Other Taalverdediging activities include a campaign against the use of the term Stop/Go for a minibus service in Amsterdam; a campaign to have the 'Old Amsterdam' cheese renamed 'Oud Amsterdam' and a campaign against exclusive use of the English language at signs at Schiphol Airport.


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