New party will take racism, afro causes to Dutch municipal council elections

AMSTERDAM — U-Buntu Connected Front (UCF), a new political movement that announced on Wednesday that it will be taking part in the March 2018 municipal council elections in the Netherlands, with racism and Afrophobia as its main targets. Party leader is Iwan Leeuwin, formerly from GroenLinks, who currently leads his one-man faction FIL in the Zuidoost (Bijlmer) council of Amsterdam.

Iwan Leeuwin

UCF intends to make bids for seats in the municipal council elections in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. “The elections in these cities will serve as measuring points toward the national parliamentary elections of 2021,” Leeuwin said on Wednesday.

He said that while the party’s main intention is to “simply be a political party”, the main goal is to create platforms to fight racism and Afrophobia and create more awareness for slavery past of the Netherlands. “If it would be up to us, all racist phenomena that refer to the deplorable Dutch slavery past and colonialism will disappear. We want a total ban of all cultural and historical traditions that contain racist elements. And we would start with all public areas in cities where we are in the City Council,” he said.

He explained the name he chose for the party: “We thought long about the name, and we asked for the input from key people in the community locally and abroad. We took into consideration the position of people of African descent in the Dutch political system, and we looked at the unelectable positions that some had in their parties during the 2017 general elections. Our intention is to change that, by increasing the visibility and chances (of afro politicians).”

He said that they literally stumbled upon the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, in which Ubuntu was a point of departure for the new national norms and values after the abolition of the apartheid system,” he said. Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu (Southern African tribe) term that means “humanity”. It is often also translated as “humanity towards others”, but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”.

“Madhiba Nelson Mandela said that when people are treated properly and with equality; when they receive equal opportunities and room to develop themselves and their talents; when they are not incriminated constantly, treated as inferior and with racism, they will without a doubt perform better at all levels of the community.”

The Municipal Council elections in the Netherlands are scheduled for March 21 2018

  • This article  appeared in The Daily Herald on December 28, 2017 
  • Lees hier voor de Nederlandse versie op AFRO Magazine.