Amsterdam: Campaign againt violence

Amsterdam: Campaign againt violence

The city of Amsterdam recently launched a campaign (NL) against violence towards public officials (municipal workers, emergency services, civil servants etc.). The campaign "Afkoelen of aangifte" (Calm down or face charges) features the following clip.

The Amsterdam campaign is part of a national Dutch campaign. The municipality says that every year 42% of city officials are confronted by verbal violence, 10% with serious threats and 6% with physical violence.

This clip is problematic on several levels. There have been several well publicized cases of Moroccans attacking emergency personnel, and it is therefore striking that this clip features a Moroccan ambulance worker and a Dutch driver who's getting upset at not being allowed to pass. In fact, so striking, that it functions as reverse discrimination. There are many cases where Dutch attack emergency services too, and so this clip could have easily been prepared in a 'color blind' way, if that was the point.

The second major problem with this clip is that it doesn't address the cause of such attacks. The cases where ambulance personnel were attacked were not due to 'wanting to get to the movies faster'. They were due to people fearing for their loved ones and wanting to (violently) ensure that they would get the best care. There are many other reasons for such violence, such as being drunk, officials wading into a fight, attempts to cover up crimes, and trying to get an official to agree to requests, among many others. Though it's possible, I have yet to read of violence against a public official because somebody demands an ambulance crew move their vehicle. In any case, as far as I understand, this clip isn't relevant for most of the people it's supposed to convince. But, it might encourage Moroccans to join the emergency services.

h/t Gates of Vienna

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