A conflict has arisen between part of the members and the national party board of Bij1. Last Monday, the number 2 on the candidate list, Quinsy Gario, was discontinued, since then social media mothers and sympathizers have been high.
Gario membership has ended for unclear reasons. Monday came out that there were signals “that not everyone felt safe within the party”. The board had those signals investigated by a law firm. And that reported allegations against the number 2 have been made on the electoral list.
It‘s not known for what kind of allegations it is, but according to the party, it’s at least ten. They are not about sexually cross-border behavior, but there would be “victims”. Partly to protect them, the report has not been disclosed so far.
It has now been decided to give openness on Saturday, at an already scheduled meeting with the members. Party Chairman Mills tells DecceIT to understand that people don‘t understand why Gario’s membership has been withdrawn. “We didn‘t bring out the details because we want to discuss them with Quinsy first. That is the royal road, but these members are now forced to deviate from it.”
Quinsy Gario, best known for his actions against Zwarte Piet, has so far not responded to DecceIT’s requests to tell his side of the story. In Trouw newspaper, he said on Monday that he has not officially been notified of his royement yet. He would not have been heard by the law firm‘s researchers and, in his own words, tried to denounce proper bullying behaviour and abuse of power.
Only when Gario knows why he is being expelled, can he consider appealing against this decision, read in a letter that went to the board today, and in the hands of GeenStijl.
The letter was signed by some two hundred by1 members who are “hugely shocked” by the news. They want clarification and apologies. “By setting Quinsy as a danger to a safe working situation, the racist “scary Black Man” trope is being adhered to. This is completely unacceptable.”
The people behind Gario, among other things, question the investigation by an “all-white law firm” and the party’s “white board” on social media. Mariam El Maslouhi, board member of Bij1 in the municipality of The Hague, says on Twitter that she “soon experienced how some people on the board don‘t know how to treat black people and people of color”.
According to El Maslouhi, it was Gario who has always “supported and calmed down” The Hague at 1.
On the other hand, Sandra Salome, chairman of the Bij1 department Rotterdam, among others. She says on Twitter, “Believe the victim. So even if the ‘offender‘ is someone you always looked up to.” She adds that she is “in shock” by the reactions of people who think they know everything, but don’t talk about “people who are victims of insecurity.”
She‘s afraid these people will never dare to speak out again. “Demand” from victims to provide evidence of the events. That’s exposing them to toxic behavior again. That can and should never be possible.”
El Maslouhi responded to Salome‘s story today:
Party President Mills hopes that the conflict can be resolved on Saturday. She points out that Bij1 is an excellent party that stands up for victims. “We have a code of conduct at Bij1. Everyone has to stick to that. I don’t care who you are. Whether you‘re the king or a farmer, that code of conduct applies to everyone. So also for someone like Quinsy Gario with great respect.”
She understands the criticism that the board would be too white. “But the association with the process around Gario is very offensive to me.” According to her, there’s only a small group of members who speak out brightly now. “We also get a lot of endorsements from the party. But those people don‘t post and don’t shout so loudly.”