Sunday 4 December 2016

Dutch police detain protesters before Sinterklaas arrival

Published 12/11/2016 | 13:56

A mother takes a selfie with her daughter and a Black Pete during the arrival of Sinterklaas, the Dutch Saint Nicholas, in Maassluis, Netherlands (AP)
A mother takes a selfie with her daughter and a Black Pete during the arrival of Sinterklaas, the Dutch Saint Nicholas, in Maassluis, Netherlands (AP)

Dutch police have detained dozens of protesters and arrested a man carrying a large knife in a bag amid tight security for the arrival of the Dutch Saint Nicholas.

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The arrests came as thousands of families lined the historic harbour of Maassluis to welcome the character known as Sinterklaas, with children clambering up trees and street lights to get a better view.

The Sinterklaas celebration has in recent years been at the centre of a debate about race in the Netherlands because of his helper, "Black Pete", who is often played by white people in blackface make-up.

Police spokeswoman Marjan Koert had no further details about the arrest of the armed man. Police tweeted that two busloads of protesters had been detained in nearby Rotterdam.

Press Association

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