Catherine phones home today: "just to let you know we were arrested (again) for a while this afternoon". The piece on AT5 Nieuws roughly translates as:
Anti Verdonk Activists Arrested
Four activists were arrested on Thursday afternoon at the Amsterdam College (Hogeschool) because they were collecting signatures in favour of the resignation of Rita Verdonk. The International Socialist activists were demanding Verdonk's resignation because of the fire on Schiphol which cost the lives of eleven people. According to the Socialists "the arrests are a continuation of the police policy which lead to the earlier forcible removal of protest banners against Verdonk from house fronts." The police arrested the activists on the grounds of breach of the peace".
According to the news reports their arrest by the police was initiated by the College management. The police sent four cars to arrest four students who were peacefully collecting signatures on a petition.
After being held in a police cell for six hours and questioned about the organisation of the protest they were suddenly released without charge. Theories about what triggered their release include that the national TV news were onto the story, it is a good follow up to the police removing the protest banners. But bad news for Job Cohen, Mayor of Amsterdam, his speech at the memorial to Theo van Gogh last week was full of stuff about Amsterdam being a great place for liberty and freedom of speech.