Attempting to gain worldwide coverage, sympathy and support for their positions on the question of Zwarte Piet, both sides of the argument were waving signs and chanting in English and any number of other languages.
On one side there were signs that looked like a quote from Fiddler on the Roof;
“Tradition, Tradition, Tradition is not Racist” and “Black Peter Forever” and on the other side, “Black Peter is Total Racism” and “BP is not PC” The sign with the lacey, flowing and flowery Arabic stood out among all the others.
Selma and Manny were used to seeing and hearing Fox News and CNN covering political demonstrations on the air but were unprepared for the flood of TV cameras, microphone booms and crowd of yelling media journalists that had suddenly appeared on the scene at the Stadhuis. Mixed in with all the others were a mottled bunch of gawkers and groupies jockeying around with cell phones, trying to film and record the proceedings for posterity by posting them to the world of social media, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc.
When Manny asked for an update the uniform in charge responded;
“ Here’s the best Intel we’ve gotten so far. There’s a number of unidentified armed people inside who are holding hostages and making demands for the release of three prisoners that are being held by the government.”
In a rare moment of cooperation, mutual trust and collaboration, the Amsterdam Police, the CIA, the MIVD and Interpol had recently identified, located, apprehended, arrested and jailed what they had reason to believe to be the core leaders of a loosely organized but devout group of Jihadist Sunni sympathizers. Made up of a number of different recent refugee tribal immigrants the weekly meetings in Alphen on the Rijn had been infiltrated by undercover Dutch operatives in order to make the bust.
The authorities surmised that the Zwarte Piet demonstration had been organized as a distraction by the separatists/terrorists in order to either spring the captives or maybe negotiate their release with a trade of hostages.