chapter  6
34 Pages

Politically-Motivated Violent Activists in the Netherlands in the 1980s*

WithAlex P. Schmid

Political life in the Netherlands has been characterised by an absence of major domestic political turmoil. Many direct actions of political activists which take place in the Netherlands would qualify as 'terrorist' in a country like South Africa; some would also qualify as such in the neighbouring German Federal Republic. The Dutch authorities use the term 'politically-motivated violent activist' to describe the more extreme contestants among the political activists. A number of politically-motivated violent activists in the anti-nuclear energy and the squatter movements are without employment and use unemployment as an argument for legitimising their behaviour. The environment movement came into existence in the mid-1960s with the Association for the Protection of the Waddensea and the action group Oosterschelde. The violent actions emanating from extremist elements of the anti-nuclear energy movement included a case of arson, destroying trucks of a company in Beverwijk which was transporting nuclear waste.