Neo-Nazi messages appeared on the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The extremists who committed the crime appear to be connected to a broader international network of extremist groups.
Members of the Dutch group’s Telegram channel took credit for projecting racist messages linked to U.S. white supremacist organisations on the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam during the New Year’s celebration there, reports the NL Times. Earlier this week, prosecutors called it a criminal act that was under investigation.
Some of the discriminatory messages on the bridge originated from an American white supremacist group, in addition to the „14 Words” quotation by David Lane, an American neo-Nazi who founded a white supremacist organisation that was tied to the murder of a Jewish radio host.
The projection on the bridge included a link to a website that is an online directory that connects nine extremist groups with racist and antisemitic text and videos that also promote Nazi ideology. White Lives Matter’s Dutch branch is also connected to the broader international network of extremist groups.
Police speculate that the antisemitic messages were projected from a boat. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) said projecting the messages on the bridge is criminally punishable. The use of discriminatory hate speech was evident „based on the context in which the statements were made, and their coherence,” the OM said. Prosecutors also noted the importance of freedom of speech as a fundamental right in the Netherlands. „But there are limits to that freedom of expression. One of those limits is that expressions may never incite discrimination or offend another segment of the population.”