Assignments 27th March

Beats Assignment

The past Amsterdam local elections has introduced a handful of new, small parties to the city council. What are their stories?

  • Partij van de Ouderen, a party for elderly people, managed to get one seat in the council. How did this come? Can you still govern at this age?
  • 50plus, a national party for elderly people didn’t manage to get one seat. How did they get beaten by a local party with the same values?
  • Bij1, the party of Sylvana Simons seems to be despised throughout the Netherlands, but nonetheless got one seat. Who are its voters? Why do they vote for this party?

Albert Heijn just opened its second store on the Molukkenstraat.

  • Someone from the new Albert Heijn; Why do people need a second AH 300 meters away from the other one? Was this necessary?
  • Someone from the other Albert Heijn; What do you think of the new AH? Does it interfere with your business?
  • People from the neighbourhood; Do you feel like this is necessary? Do you still go to both?

Bunq, a dutch online banking app, last week introduced Apple Pay to the Netherlands without having permission to do so from Apple.

  • Ali Nikhan, CEO and present public figure of Bunq could be interviewed to ask him what motivated to do this; was it a PR stunt? Have you heard from Apple?
  • Anyone from Apple who can say anything else than the standard reply their media representatives give could be interesting.
  • Someone from the banking world, to ask what they think of Bunq as an upcoming digital bank and their tactics.

Profile Subjects

Inside AUC:

  • The dark haired cantine lady, would be an interesting interview as I have seen her pretty much every day since I’m in AUC, but I don’t know much about her personally
  • The cleaner in the dorms. Besides having told me to move my bike, we have never really had a conversation before. I would like to see what he does outside the dorms and what his background is.

Outside AUC:

  • Ali Nikhan, CEO of Bunq. A very extraordinary man, with a lot written about him in interviews. The challenge here would be to find something that has not been written about before, so more personal/lifetime stories would be the goal.
  • Schalk Stalman, CEO of Triple. I have worked for this man for a few years, and he has built up this internet empire from the ground up in a small city called Alkmaar. I never really got to know him personally, so this seems like a good opportunity.

 

Climate Change Skepticism shows its Face at Rotterdam Climate March

Climate March going over the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.
Climate March passing over the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.

Last week’s Climate March in Rotterdam might have actually made some people rethink what they thought they knew about climate change. While most of the signs people were holding at the protest had contents along the lines of “Rotterdam Coal-Free” or “Our Harbour, Our Future,” that was not the only message portrayed. Whoever took a closer look at the crowds might have spotted a man holding two white Hema folders with sheets of A4 paper taped on them reading “Convenient lies? Or hard Truths? Get the hard Truth here!” Meet Jiri Teunis, one of a handful of climate change deniers amongst the crowd.

Jiri with his signs asking people to question him about climate change.

While at first, it might seem counterintuitive to try to convince anti-coal protesters that man-made climate change is fake, this is exactly what Mr Teunis decided to do. Having attended the 2016 Monsanto March in Amsterdam before this, he felt this march would be the perfect opportunity to spread his message to “people that are open to new thoughts.”

According to Teunis, the main reason he chose to attend this protest is that he was disappointed in the attitude of its organizers. When he confronted Rotterdams Klimaat Initiatief – the organizers of the Climate March – with his views on climate change, he felt like he wasn’t being taken seriously. According to him, RKI compared them to “the moon being made of cheese,” among others.

“When everybody is looking to the right, I want to see what’s going on on the left.”

The 43-year-old born Rotterdammer, who was admittedly under the influence of LSD, seemed relatively indifferent to the possibly damaging effects of burning coal. “We have so many things to think about already. We’re discovering so many new things. Why worry about this? This is a great time to be alive,” Jiri said. The latter might not hold for everyone present at the climate march, however. Moments after Jiri spoke these words, the representatives of RKI exited the building of the World Port Center to inform the protesters that the organisation would be pursuing its goal of continuing the processing of coal for the next 25 years. Turns out that the few climate change sceptics that were present might have gotten the best outcome after all.

Jiri and Tiem
Jiri discussing carbon dioxide data with AUC student Tiem van der Deure.

Climate Change Skepticism very much Alive at Rotterdam Climate March

Climate March going over the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.
Climate March passing over the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.

Most of the signs people were holding at last Friday’s Climate March, protesting coal processing in the Rotterdam harbour, had contents along the lines of “Rotterdam coal-free” or “Our Harbour, Our Future.” Whoever took a closer look at the crowds, however, might have spotted a man holding two white Hema folders with sheets of A4 paper taped on them reading “Convenient lies? Or hard Truths? Get the hard Truth here!” Meet Jiri Teunis, one of a handful of climate change deniers amongst the crowd.

Jiri with his signs asking people to question him about climate change.

42-year-old Rotterdammer Teunis definitely knows how to grab and keep people’s attention. And even while admittedly under the influence of acid (“just a little bit though”), he still managed to go over and try to disprove scientific consensus on the topics of man-made climate change, natural selection and consciousness among others.

“When everybody is looking to the right, I want to see what’s going on on the left.”

According to Mr Teunis, this was his first-time counter-protesting. The only protest he had ever visited before was the 2016 “March against Monsanto” in Amsterdam, where he protested against the genetical modification and patenting of plants and seeds by the American multinational.

When Jiri confronted Rotterdams Klimaat Initiatief – the organizers of the Climate March – with his views, he felt like he wasn’t being taken seriously. According to him, his theories were being compared to the moon being made of cheese, among others. After this occurred, he decided to print out some graphs and news articles to show to the people protesting in Rotterdam that day.

Being at a protest against the coal industry, you wouldn’t expect a climate change sceptic to receive too much support. There were, however, several instances where people would come up to Mr Teunis and engage in a conversation with him, sometimes even agreeing with some of his views.

When asked about his stance on the proposed extension of coal processing in the Rotterdam harbour for the next 25 years, he seemed relatively indifferent. “We have so many things to think about already. We’re discovering so many new things. Why worry about this? This is a great time to be alive!” Not everyone in the crowd seemed to agree on the latter, though, since the World Port Center announced moments later that even though they received the letter from the protesters, they would still sign the new coal-agreement.

Jiri and Tiem
Jiri discussing carbon dioxide graphs with AUC student Tiem van der Deure.

News Angles for Events

UvA-Parool Lijsttrekkersdebat (March 8)

On a national level, there has been a big rise in the popularity of Forum voor Democratie. FvD is a right-wing party that has sparked a lot of controversies since it started out about two years ago. I think it would be interesting to interview the students that are present about their stance on this party joining the Amsterdam municipality elections and to see if there are FvD-supporters at the debate.

Climate March for a Coal-Free R’dam (March 9)

The climate march, while not being directly related to Amsterdam, has interested a lot of students who are attending AUC. If I go there I would like to follow of a group of these students and just see what happens. As it’s a protest, it’s likely that there will be some chaos here and there, so my story could also tie into that.

Webradio x CUT: Boiler Room (March 6)

People who go to Boiler Room parties are usually a relatively specific type of people. I think it would be interesting to see whether there exists a group of people within AUC that associates with these types of people and find out their opinion on Webradio’s interpretation of a ‘Boiler Room party.’