Successful citizens’ initiative in the Netherlands
Last Tuesday Positive Money’s Dutch sister organization Ons Geld launched in cooperation with the theater group De Verleiders a Citizens’ Initiative to put money creation on the political agenda. Within 28 hours the goal of 40.000 signatures was reached.
Three months ago De Verleiders (“The Seducers”) started a new theater play called “Taken by the bank“ (original: Door de bank genomen) which means both that something was taken away by the bank, that the bank had sex with you, and ‘that which usually happens’ (a Dutch saying). In the play De Verleiders explain clearly through sketches and monologues how the financial world in which we live functions, and money creation by private banks is one of the main topics. From the first moment Taken by the bank was a success: favourable reviews and the show was sold out quickly. However, those who had seen the play were often shocked, and left the theater with doubts and many unanswered questions. Questions like why is this possible? And what can we do?
This is why the actors became activists, and started to collaborate with Ons Geld. Last two months we drafted the official text and build a website. Last Tuesday the cast of De Verleiders officially launched the Citizens’ Initiative live in one of the most watched talk shows in the Netherlands De Wereld Draait Door (translated: The World Keeps On Spinning, in Dutch it also has the connotation that the world is going ‘mad’). In the show theater player and script writer George van Hout explained how money is created ‘out of nothing’ by private commercial banks, and why this is misunderstood by most Dutch citizens. In the talk show discussion were mentioned also the lobby power of banks, austerity, inequality and the debate in the UK parliament. Dutch journalist and television presenter Jort Kelder put live the first signature, and then it went fast.
Because of the immediate success of the citizen initiative, the Dutch parliament has to debate money creation in the near future. At least untill April 3rd 2015, three days after the final show of the Verleiders, it will be possible to sign the citizen initiative. Of course we hope that many more Dutch citizens will sign the initiative. Pressure of the electorate is important to get money creation and debt free money high on the political agenda.
Finally, there is good news for Positive Money supporters and all other international monetary reform groups – Door de bank genomen will be soon translated into English.
You can watch a trailer of the play here – there are English subtitles now
(click the captions button on the video – 4th from the right at the bottom)
Here you can watch the TV show:.
Read the TRANSCRIPT in ENGLISH here
(hopefully, we’ll have the subtitles soon too)
Update 4th February 2015: The Initiative has now 93,911 signatures. Approaching 100,000. Fantastic!