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Council and mayor in discussion again about demonstrations at abortion clinic | NOW

Mayor Jos Wienen of Haarlem has again had to answer to the council about enforcement in the pro life demonstrations at the Bloemenhovekliniek.

The protesters have to stand in a box, but they have not adhered to it twice.

The opposition parties in particular wanted to know, through an interpellation debate by the mayor, what happened at the clinic and what the possibilities are to keep the protesters out of the street altogether.

The anti-abortion protesters stand at the clinic monthly praying for “the lives of the unborn” and hope to change the minds of female clients of the clinic.

Because the clinic, on the outskirts of Heemstede and Haarlem, and the clients find the group intimidating, the mayor has chosen to place the group on the Haarlem side in a fixed section, 25 meters from the entrance of the clinic.

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If they move outside the box, enforcement officers from the municipality will act. The latter happened for the second time on Wednesday morning.

Demonstrations ended if another violation occurs

The pin indicating where the protesters should stand had disappeared, causing confusion where to stand. Enforcers then asked the group to stand in the right place, which was followed by an official warning.

The mayor has informed the protesters that the demonstrations will immediately end with any subsequent violation and that subsequent demonstrations may be banned for a longer period.

The opposition parties wanted to know from the mayor what he means by “longer period”. According to Wienen, this will in any case concern the planned demonstrations of the relevant month and possibly also those afterwards.

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He wants to find out legally what the possibilities are to ban the demonstrations for a longer period of time, because if he were to decide that now, it would not stand up to the courts.

Mayor wants to build up a file for an area ban

In order to strengthen his arguments for an area ban, it is also necessary, according to the mayor, to build up a file. Until then, enforcers will keep an eye on the situation at the clinic and mystery guests will be deployed.

Proud Haarlem thinks that the mayor is acting too weakly and even submitted a motion of no confidence. However, there was no support for that. Wienen denies that he is acting softly and says that he will do everything in his legal capacity to take action against the protesters when necessary.

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