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<nettime> A deadly beach party shooting in the Netherlands & the resurre
Tjebbe van Tijen via Chello on Fri, 4 Sep 2009 22:58:28 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> A deadly beach party shooting in the Netherlands & the resurrection of the tactical media idea now with hooligans as actors and internet posters

On August 23 a big free for all party was organized near Rotterdam on  
the beach of in Hoek van Holland by the Dutch commercial televison  
and radio station Vewronica: Sunset Groove. Fifty thousand people are  
said to have massed together, but in the end, around midnight,  the  
groove turned into a riot leaving one man dead and six wounded after  
some unclear shooting incident. At first the local Roatterdam  
Hooligans group was pointed at as the ones that did the fatal  
shootingm but after a week or so the authorities had reluctanctly to  
confess that it was a police bullet that killed a dancer on the beach.

The article I have written is in Dutch, as it targets public opnion  
in the Netherlands in the first place... I have posted it on my blog  
The Limping Messenger and have also added some layers of English text  
telling a side story in the form of longer captions below a series of  

The full version is to be found here:

The text has an epilogie in English and also the conclusive sentence  
of the article has been translated by me:

Hooligans are a product of the the entertainment industry and to  
solve the hooligan problem the cultural value system of this branch  
of our economy needs to be changed, irrespective whether it is about  
a football stadium or a beach party at Hoek van Holland.

Central in my story are the videophone movies posted right after the  
incident on Toutube and other public video sharing places. It made me  
think back to the 1991 incident with Rodney King in Los Angeles and  
the camcorder document that became the inspirational source for the  
idea of "tactical media". As the nettime list is also an offspring of  
that idea and subsequent movement, I think it may interest people -  
beyond the language restrictions of Dutch - to have a look at the  
images... play some of the viseo posts that are linked and read some  
of the fragments in English as posted right below here

Tjebbe van Tijen 4/9/2009

Two screenshots merged into one picture from mobile phone videos  
uploaded to the Internet that document a mass free beech party with  
DJs in Hoek van Holland, The Netherlands on August 23. 2009. Video  
taken during a riot at the end of the party, whereby the police at  
that spot felt so threatened by a crowd that they fired their arms  
which left a few wounded and one man dead. If the alleged Rotterdam  
hooligans have also used firearms has not been established, though it  
was suggested at first. See footnote (*) for the video sources. Click  
image for a full size view.

Enlarged screenshot at 2 minutes and 12 seconds of the Youtube mobile  
telephone movie  posted by Karim1001. I have lightened up the picture  
information in Photoshop with the ‘curve tool’  because otherwise one  
sees only a dark screen with some moving lights. The conversation  
just before, during, and just after this moment goes as follows:  
“kanker, kanker hee… [pif paf poef]  ik hoorde gewoon die kogel daar  
afketsen [poef paf poef pif hee ga liggen Matti ga liggen   
vriend..." (cancer, cancer hey [bang bang] I just heard that bullet  
rebounding [beng bang] hey go dug down Matti, go and lay down). When  
one more listens than looks at this 2 minute movie and counts the  
rounds of shooting the level of police panic can be well understood.  
The fact that one of the boys in this movie shouts after just hearing  
a bullet rebounding indicates that the gun shots were not just  
warning shots into the air. Click picture for a full size view.

The new mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb and his challenge to go  
beyond scapegoating as he - declared war on a group he labeled  
'hooligans', after the shooting incident of Hoek van Holland. An  
official inquiry is under way but as usual public authorities know  
already where to put the blame. This makes one think back half a  
century when the Ducth 'nozems' (teddy boys) were group branded as  
well and were declared enemies of the state by all city authorities.  
Blaming individuals as a group tends to strengthen their collective  
identity. Abusive words against group identities are often taken as  
honoures titles, from the Dutch 'provo' movement of the sixties to  
the international 'punk' movement of the late seventies and beyond;  
or back in Dutch history with the abusive French name used for the  
Dutch insurrectionists at the court of the ruler of the low countries  
"gueuses" (beggars) that was taken as a name of honnor and survives  
till today in the Dutch language as Geuzen. This does not imply that  
the alleged today Rotterdam Hooligans can be equalled in any way with  
the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule, my intention is only to point  
to the dangers of hasty and over-simplified scapegoating. For an  
impression of what the Rotterdam Hooligan football supporters group  
stands for see footnote (**). Click the picture to see a full size view.

Video posted on Dailymotion.com “Welcome to Rotterdam Hooligans”  
which give some insight in their activities; one sees mainly  
confrontations between rival football supporters groups and  
intervening riot police and the last ones becoming a target as well.  
The candid camera (videophone) shots are montaged on a continuous  
music track which may be compared to the DJ type music performed at  
the Veronica beach party. A fast pulsing beat with a transformed  
voice-over with the text “the dynamo of the universe is war”. This  
seems to be an early hard core cult song (other sources name it hard  
style gabber music) by a group/artist under the name Knightvision…  
That sentence in relation to the Rotterdam Hooligans puzzles me a  
bit, so I did yet another search on some discreet parts of that  
sentence and what may be a connection is an American evangelist  
Wilbert L. McLeod (1918-) of a Baptist church in Saskatoon,  
Saskatchewan who is said to have had a vision in 1971 whereby he was  
connected to the “dynamo of the universe” (see Encyclopedia of  
Evangelicalism page 439); the term “dynamo of the universe” is  
apparently also used in astronomy as a metaphor for the sun. I see  
this motto also appear in some forums of game players. I will not  
further dwell here on the aesthetics and possible inter-textuality of  
the Rotterdam Hooligans (but one may not exclude such groups of  
having their own set of historical references), it could simply be  
just the favorite song of the maker of this video. Someone with a  
claim to know it better, is invited to denounce or correct my  
academic bullshit, right here, on the spot.

Almost half a million people have watched this video posted by  
Karim1001 on Youtube and almost 2000 reactions have been written by  
the people who have seen it. We are entering a new area of public  
scrutiny, police inquiry and instant sociology, with this available  
for all document and several other comparable recordings from  
different points of view, both in the sense of space and mentality  
and live comments of their makers. What will be the effect of this  
transparency whereby mass-media potential lays in the hands of any  
one with a up-to-date mobile phone and access to the internet. Almost  
two decades ago there was the Rodney King incident in Los Angeles  
where police brutality had been captured by a personal video  
camcorder and became evidence in the court case. As this footage had  
been distributed publicly on local television networks, many people  
had been able to see with their own eyes what bad things had happened  
to Rodney King When later an implicated police officer was acquited  
by the court a mass revolt broke out. This event became an  
inspirational source for an international media activist conference  
held in 1993 in Amsterdam with the name Next 5 Minutes International  
Festival of Tactical Media. I did get involved in the archiving of  
the mass of conference materials of this first and later conferences  
on tactical media (in total 5 conferences have been held over the  
years). A few hundred video-tapes of the Next 5 Minutes conferences  
have been catalogued and can now be found in the archives of the  
International Institute of Social History. The Youtube footage of the  
beach riot in Hoek van Holland made me associate - at a certain level  
- these crude videophone images with the crude camcorder materials of  
the 90s in the Los Angeles incident. I can not yet say who are the  
goodies and baddies of the Hoek van Holland incident, but media  
distribution wise interesting comparisons may be made. In some way  
the intermediate function of established media in distributing  
camcorder footage has become obsolete. The statistics of the  
Karim1001 video on Youtube proves that. Half a million (almost)  
viewers and mostly in the Netherlands is some kind of audience  
comparable to a print run of a national newspaper or a non prime-time  
television coverage. The Youtube video-footage as such - on the other  
hand - has not been contextualized at all. It has been thrown just as  
raw footage on-line and did generate the forementioned 2000 reactions  
which are most of them as wild as the imagery taken at those  
confusing moments on the beach. Whoever reads Dutch and can handle  
strong language in a cool way, may like to access the links to the  
video and read through some of the many comments. In between  
scolding, hefty speech, macho talk and sporadic racist remarks, one  
finds what may be useful witness accounts, sane observations and  
frequent rebuttals of of nonsense entries and sloppy ways of arguing.  
The video itself does proves little, but still conveys strongly the  
atmosphere of the moment and - more importantly - the apparent loss  
of control of the police officers (or whoever else used firearms at  
that moment) who seem to fire in an uncontrolled way above and/or  
into the dark beach environment lighted up by random flashes of the  
party projection system with the lcd-screens of mobile phones  
swirling like fire flies through all this. The fact that there were  
several casualties, one dead and six or seven wounded, attests to  
this. To coclude... all the tools are there for anyone to make their  
own inquiry and publish it... to challenge whatever the official  
reports will tell. Will that happen at all? Time will learn. tj.

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