Hot Potato: Food for Thought
Martial Law Declared in Amsterdam
EuroTop Violates Civil Rights
1997 June 16
Monday, EXTRA!

The leaders of the European Union cannot gather without a declaration of martial law. Three days before the beginning of the EuroTop, Mayor Patijn of Amsterdam declared a state of emergency and suspended normal civil liberties in a dozen places in Amsterdam. It is alleged that this is necessary to protect the safety of citizens and leaders, although nobody can get anywhere near the meeting place.

J. Crawford is located about 300 meters from the EuroTop. For ten days we have been coping with closed streets, disrupted transport, and helicopter overflights which have become nearly continuous. Sleep is difficult. Was the government unprepared for the relatively small number of protesters who came to Amsterdam? Or do the leaders simply not care about the difficulties of citizens? Queen Beatrix would surely have lent one of her rural palaces for the meeting, where security is easily arranged.

Is this a sign of how "democracy" works in the EU? What can we expect of a government that cannot gather without infringing on the liberties of those it is supposed to protect?

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