Freedom of speech in the West is threatened by the trial of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. But both within and beyond the Netherlands, few people have noticed the political origins of the most enthusiastic supporters of this political witch hunt.
On the website of the Verzetsmuseum in Amsterdam, devoted to the Dutch resistance in World War II, is a poster that found wide circulation in the spring of 2002. It is promotional material for a demonstration — "Stop de Hollandse Haider" (Stop the Dutch Jörg Haider) — that was planned for May 11, 2002, in the center of Rotterdam. "Don't give racism a vote" was another slogan for the event, which was a rally against Pim Fortuyn, the leader of the anti-establishment party LPF.
Fortuyn was finding growing popularity among Dutch voters because of his outspoken opposition to multiculturalism, which was then and still is now the mainstream opinion among Dutch political and cultural elites. Politicians and journalists falsely branded Fortuyn as a Nazi or a fascist because of his critical statements about Islam. They compared him with European politicians like Jean-Marie le Pen (France) and Haider (Austria).
The most vicious attacks came from the "anti-racist" group Nederland Bekent Kleur (NBK, "Colorful Netherlands") and the International Socialists (the Dutch offspring of the Socialist Workers Party, a Trotskyite group from Britain). They were the main organizers of the demonstration in Rotterdam.