THE HAGUE - The Hague today Malieveld 550.000 people action taken against the placement of 48 cruise missiles in Woensdrecht. This was the largest protest ever held in the Netherlands. Notable was the speech of Princess Irene.

It was a coming and going this afternoon in The Hague. In total there were 3.000 bus, a number of trains, auto's, bicycles and even boats needed to get everyone in the residence. Across the country does not get more coach.

According to police, the rally and the march past Parliament Buildings, Despite the scale, excellent expired. There were very few incidents, police say. There are sixteen against protesters arrested, who wanted to disrupt the rally. Among them were some right-wing extremists who brought the Hitler salute.


The first people on the Malieveld appeared at seven o'clock this morning. These were the few hundred members of the organizing Komitee No Cruise Missiles.

The stage was already established. Along the side of the field are the booths of political parties, unions and other pressure groups that have joined in this action.

At the second demonstration site, at the South Park, arrived a few hours later, the first buses. Ironically it was the bus from Woensdrecht, where the controversial missiles to come. Five coaches have made the journey from the Brabant village.

A councilor from the village told to Het Vrije Volk that it's not just about them. "We also do not want these missiles be placed elsewhere in the Netherlands".


The crowds were really noticeable at ten o'clock. Trains with protesters from Groningen and Friesland were already underway hours. Despite the civil action against a wage rebate 3,5 percent (NS personnel agency today carried special action buttons) Extra trains were still deployed today.

The stations in Leiden, Amsterdam and Utrecht were waiting for large groups of people to train to The Hague. The trains themselves are then were already crowded. From Delft came the demonstrators by boat to The Hague.

All people shuffling step by step to the Malieveld. And there it is full. So full no one has ever seen.

Malieveld around noon one large crowds. Then there are -to estimate- yet 70.000 people move to Den Haag.

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Surprise Performance Princess Irene

Many people could barely see anything, because the distance to the stage at the Malieveld was too big. But through the many radios that people had with them, it became clear that Princess Irene gave a speech. She shared her concerns about the deployment of cruise missiles and the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

"We have weapons which we are on the brink of collapse. We can make a mistake more, otherwise destroying the world. " (Irene van Lippe-Bieserfeld)

Because it is no longer a member of the royal family, They could also do these political statements, was the explanation of Prime Minister Lubbers. Even former Prime Minister Den Uyl gave a speech.


The organization of Cruise Missiles No Komitee was extremely satisfied with the progress of the demonstration. There are plans to hold an unofficial referendum among the population, but when that will be is not yet known.

CDA Party government called the demonstration "an impressive signal". Another ruling party, VVD, was less impressed. MP Joris Voorhoeve called the action in the Telegraph 'unilateral and do not contribute to the solution of the problem of nuclear weapons. "

In total, held the last two weekends in European cities over three million action against the Russian-American arms race.

Prime Minister Lubbers was also impressed by the largest demonstration in Dutch history. But in response to television, he stressed that not the size of a demonstration, but the situation in the House must ultimately be decisive.

Hoe ging het verder?

The action against cruise missiles on Malieveld is still the biggest demonstration ever held our country.

A year later came the Komitee No Cruise Missiles with a petition against the deployment of cruise missiles. One year after the action is Malieveld 3,7 million signatures against the deployment of missiles handed over to Prime Minister Lubbers.

The government still approved the placement of missiles, Although two-year extension. Netherlands would place missiles and the Soviet Union 1 november 1985 more than 378 SS-20-nuclear missile would have stationed.

The delay made sure that the missiles were eventually not placed. A breakthrough in the negotiations on the arms race. As a result, the boundary was of 378 nuclear missiles missed.

The above story is part of the series of stories from History Month 2018. The theme of this year's Uprising.


Het Vrije Volk – 31-10-1983 – The last bus arrived at a quarter to three

The Telegraph – 31-10-1983 – Peace Mars holds politicians divided

TVNZ – 31-10-1983 – Peace Council focused on showdown with CDA

Author: Dave Datema

published: 01-10-2018

story number: 226

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