On Sunday the 19th of November, our national party congress took place. And it was pleasantly busy! This year, our membership grew by one quarter to 15,000, and we are growing faster than ever. The congress hall was jam-packed because of it. The Party for the Animals will participate in the municipality elections in 15 municipalities in March 2018. The members gave their consent to the candidate lists and the election programme during the congress. Now our municipality elections candidates can start the real work!
As always, I spoke to our members during the congress and I emphasised our party’s individuality. It is one minute to twelve for our planet and we really should start doing things differently, the Party for the Animals is breaking with traditional politics. We advocate real leadership and daring to make choices that will keep our planet liveable. For example, the abandonment of intensive livestock farming and breaking ties with polluting companies.
Just after the congress, early elections were held in the municipalities of Leeuwarden and Westerwolde. And with great success, because last week it turned out that the Party for the Animals gained a seat in both municipalities! Local politics is definitely an important place to make the difference. For example, our political group in the municipality of Amsterdam has introduced some measures against the unwanted delivery of advertising brochures and saved thousands of trees as a result. And our political group in the province of Noord-Brabant contributed by managing to stop another factory farm in the province.
Marianne with all top candidates for the municipality elections
This month I had the honour to introduce one of the best documentaries at the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) in Amsterdam. The documentary “Eating Animals” shows the destructive side of intensive livestock farming. A very devastating documentary based on the book of the world-famous author Jonathan Safran Foer and narrated by actress Nathalie Portman. Just like the book, the documentary provides convincing arguments for reducing the consumption of meat and restricting the industrial production of food from animal sources. It includes upsetting testimonies by farmers who want to turn the tide and strongly appeal to the responsibility of consumers. So, please don’t miss the film!
Marianne with the director of the documentary “Eating Animals”
Furthermore, there was good news for the Dutch minks. The judge of the European Court judged that the ban on the keeping and killing of minks, as laid down by the law, is irrevocable and definitive. The act has been in force since 2013 but will only enter into force for existing mink factories from 1 January 2024. According to the law, it cannot be defended from an ethical point of view that animals are killed for their fur. We are delighted that the European Court recognises this and maintains the prohibition.
Last week, I told you how the fishing industry is being protected by our government. This while the Dutch fishing industry is also partly responsible for the structural overfishing in European waters. No less than 88% of the species of fish is overfished and 30% will more than likely not be able to recover. But our government continues to focus on short-term economic interests. Shortly, the European Parliament will have to vote on controversial pulse fishing. Would you like to learn more about this damaging form of fishing? Please read here the latest newsletter of last week.
PftA’s MEP Anja Hazekamp accepts a petition against pulse fishing
Our MEP Anja Hazekamp fights for the European Parliament to make the right choice later and to vote against allowing pulse fishing. To be continued!
Speaking of Europe: This week, I will speak in The Hague with colleagues from our European sister parties. We will already start to exchange ideas about the European Parliament elections in 2019. At present, Anja Hazekamp is our representative in the European Parliament and we would love for her to get more support as from 2019 to put up an even better fight for our planet and all its inhabitants.