Something fantastic just happened. The Dutch Trump, Geert Wilders, who was leading in the Netherlands’ election race right up to the last moment, was just defeated!
Wilders had promised to close all mosques, pull the Netherlands out of the EU and ban the Koran. After Brexit and Trump, the whole world was watching to see if the far-right would continue its terrifying rise.
But in the end, the Dutch people struck a beautiful blow against Trumpism. The tide just turned against the global spread of fascist politics. And our movement was right in the middle. How?
20,000 marchers, 500km on a bus, 5 million views, 300,000 reached with newspaper ads, and a community united against hate.
Just before the election, we helped mobilise 20,000 people onto the streets to march together to celebrate the Netherlands’ long history of openness and tolerance.
Dutch Avaazers hit the campaign trail in a giant orange Unity Bus. Three days before the election, many voters still hadn’t decided which way to cast their ballot! So we went up and down the country handing out flowers, listening to people and encouraging them to vote against hate. Then we emailed and texted over half a million people to get out the vote!
When we found out a key thing driving people away from Wilders was his love of Trump, we made a hilarious spoof video of Trump endorsing Wilders. It went crazy viral in hours, and 5 million people had watched it before the elections!
But that wasn’t all. We then targeted the key areas where Wilders had potentially strong support with full-page newspaper ads, spoofing the Hollywood hit La La Land to show how Wilders would turn the Netherlands into Trumpland!
Finally, today we took to the streets in The Hague, Paris and Berlin to celebrate and send a strong warning signal to Le Pen in France and the AfD in Germany that we are coming to stop them in elections there.
With the threat of hate spreading everywhere, the world needs our 44-million-strong global community like never before. Together, we’ve built the most powerful civic campaigning movement in history, and with that power comes responsibility. Responsibility to rise against hate, to defend the values of unity and tolerance that make us strong. But most of all, the responsibility to dream of a better world. And this week, the Netherlands has taken us one step closer to that dream.
In hope and celebration,
Emma, Alice, Christoph, Anneke, Lisa, Oscar, Mike, Spyro and the whole Avaaz team
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