Demonstration against International Park – 10 January 2016

busThe demonstration for the preservation of the green areas near our neighbourhood drew a lot of attention. On Friday 8 January in a direct broadcast from a mobile radio station of NPO radio (the yellow bus, picture Hans Groenendijk). On Sunday morning 10 January the tv ptogramme ‘Vroege Vogels’ (early birds) made mention of the plans to create an international park in The Hague and so did RTV-West. On Monday 11 January the newspaper NRC  mentioned the high number of ‘well to do’ people among the protestors. As an eye witness I can asure you that the majority of those present did not belong to that category.
On Sunday afternoon the comedian Sjaak Bral in his own special way gave his opinion on how The Hague deals with its special areas. Ben Huisman sang a protest song against the plans and then a member of the AVN (society for the protection of nature) spoke about the bio diversity of the Scheveningse Bosjes and the unique nature of these former dunes. The AVN advises to make an inventory and investigate how the valuable aspects of the landscape can be preserved and added to. After that suitable plans can be developed, in cooperation with residents and special interest groups.

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The AVN agrees with the plan to build tunnels under the Teldersweg, not only for pedestrians and cyclists, but also as eco passage. The construction of a low wall along Teldersweg as a sound barrier and to guide animals to the safe passage seems a good idea. A good management plan is a necessity.
Scheveningse Bosjes used to be part of the hunting grounds of the Counts of Holland, so the area has  historic value.
On the sandy plain red-and-white ribbons marked the space the planned facilities would occupy in the wood;  alderman Boudewijn Revis took note of it.
After this demonstration the crowd went for a guided walk through the woods, with a short coffee break at ‘De Prinsevink’. Near the Waterpartij Wieteke van Dort (actress and The Hague VIP) gave a short speech and troubadour Martijn Breeman sang a protest song. On the way back to the Scheveningse Bosjes police officers stopped the traffic on Teldersweg so that the walkers could cross the road in safety.

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The demonstration was characterized by a friendly, disciplined atmosphere and now all eyes are fixed on what is to come.

During the New Year’s reception in ‘t Klokhuis Mr Revis promised that he will take the notices of objection seriously; they can be sent in until 17 January.  The Community Council Archipel&Willemspark will follow the process closely.

 14 January 2016, Cristo Padmos; photos by Else Ponsen  (MM)