Koninginnedag – Queen’s Day

Today is queen’s day. It’s like the oppossite of May Day. In fact, it’s conveniently celebrated the day before May Day, despite it not being the current queen’s birthday at all. Essentially, it works like this: the monarchy grants the peasants one day of freedom of the year, throws a huge party in Amsterdam, and everyone gets all misty-eyed and patriotic. Okay, no one gets misty-eyed. Everyone just gets shitfaced. Everyone from all over the country pours into Amsterdam and gets drunk and chants things and generally trashes the city. One of the lessons of the day was a reminder that random destruction isn’t necessarily a liberating thing. Sometimes it’s just hooliganism, or hell, patriotism.

It seems like the anarchists who don’t need the money mostly head out of town. Those who’re broke either hawk stuff, work bar, or collect cups for the deposit.

In the last photo, below, you can see an entire street covered in piss that is leaking from an overflowing portable urinal. And still, folks are lining up to use the urinal as it streams out directly onto the pavement.

(click on pictures for slightly larger versions).

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