Sylvana Simons, the figurehead of the BIJ1 political movement, will invest all of her energy in her party’s campaign for the House of Representatives elections next spring. To this end, she will give up her seat on the Amsterdam City Council on Sunday in the name of this party.
As party chairman, Simons wants to campaign for the party to get into the House of Representatives. “BIJ1 was founded almost four years ago to secure a place in national politics. That moment is now! And that’s what I want to concentrate fully on, ”says Simons.
Her running mate, number two on BIJ1’s list, is activist Quinsy Gario. In 2013 he was the initiator of the “Zwarte Piet is racism” campaign. Actress Romana Vrede is one of the toppers. Overall, the list consists of 18 candidates, as announced at a general meeting of the party. BIJ1 claims to have the “most radical left, greenest and most inclusive” party program.
In 2016, the television and radio presenter and columnist Simons entered politics under the DENK banner, but after more than six months started her own business. With Article 1, as her party was originally called, she mainly garnered votes in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, as well as a few other cities, in the 2017 parliamentary elections. But she should have got almost twice as many for a seat in parliament. The name of the party has since been changed to BIJ1 following objections from the anti-discrimination hotline Article 1.
Simon’s seat on the Amsterdam City Council will be occupied by Duo Councilor Jazie Veldhuyzen.
With her political ambitions and views on Zwarte Piet, for example, Simons has aroused a lot of criticism, often of a sexist or racist nature. For example, their face has been photographed on the heads of people hanged by the Ku Klux Klan. Twenty people were sentenced to community service and fined.