1994

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February - The 'No vote/voice for racism' Tram. In the week preceding the Amsterdam council elections, Magenta drove a historical tram through Amsterdam to call upon the voters to vote but 'not to vote for racism'. For one week, every day, City council members and candidate members handed out the Amsterdam version of the 'letter to the voters' (giving 8 reasons why not to vote for extreme right parties) Many people took the opportunity to ride along on the tram while engaging in discussion with our staff and the politicians.

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April - manifestation on the occasion of the installation of the new city council. On April 12, 1994 the new city council was sworn in amongst them 4 members of an extreme-right party. Together with the city hall civil servants and the Abva/Kabo union, Magenta organized a temporary strike of the civil servants and a manifestation in front of city hall. During the strike several speakers from all walks of life spoke and Harry Slinger, a famous Amsterdam singer, sang a specially adapted version of his hit song 'Hey Amsterdam they say you've changed'

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25 - 30 April The 'No vote/voice for racism' train. -Up to that point Magenta's biggest project. In the week before general elections in the Netherlands, the Magenta antiracism train made a whistle stop tour, stopping in 24 cities throughout the country. Dutch celebrities (ranging from the entire cast of a popular TV series, to musicians, to sports people, to writers) handed out the 'letter to the voters' with 8 reasons to not vote for the extreme-right and badges with the slogan: No vote for racism. Also aboard the train was an exhibition made by the Anne Frank Foundation about the extreme-right in Europe and information material provided by (local) anti-discrimination organizations. During the six days, the crew and celebrities handed out 22.000 letters to the voters and 50.000 badges in train stations, on platforms and in city centers Thousands of people, amongst them many school students, came to visit the train and viewed the exhibition.

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In most cities local dignitaries and antiracism groups welcomed the train. In and around the stations the local groups often organized small events. National and local media paid a lot of attention to the project (including international BBC radio & MTV Europe). The crew did about 70 interviews in those six days, and as a result the '8 reasons to not vote for extreme-right' spread like a wildfire throughout the country. Badge 'No vote for racism'.

As a 'spin-off' from the tram and train project the black and white 'No vote for racism' badge started a life of it's own. During both projects a total of 55.000 badges were handed out. Magenta had requests for badges from all over the country and an additional 20.000 were distributed through schools, unions, human rights and other organisations. Adapted versions sometimes still use the 'letter to the voters'.

 

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