“It’s not about if fireworks will be banned, but when.”

The debate about shooting fireworks during the turn of the year has now entered a new chapter as the D66 coalition party is also in favor of a national fireworks ban in the House of Representatives.

There were no major disturbances in Groningen during the turn of the year. One officer was injured by heavy pyrotechnics and the mobile unit had to be deployed to Badeboyle and Finkozen as it was unstable. In addition, the emergency services have had to go out several times due to fires, vandalism, accidents, and inconvenience. In this article is a conversation with Councilor Terrence Van Zolen of the Animal Party and Party Chair Jim Le-A-Ngoe of D66. How do they look back at the turn of the year? And how do they think the next turn of the year should be celebrated?

Jim Lo-A-Njoe (D66): “The fireworks ban doesn’t start overnight”
The news for today is that the D66 coalition party is in favor of a national fireworks ban in the House of Representatives. Lo-A-Njoe on this matter: “During the turn of the year, we agreed on a national level with bans on fireworks and flares. The idea behind this was that we wanted to investigate whether this would also result in fewer accidents and less violence against enforcers. Our conclusion Is that that’s not the case. That’s unfortunate. Couldn’t we have thought of that right away? Perhaps, but blanket bans don’t happen overnight. I should also mention that this sound doesn’t quite come as a struggle out of the blue. During the D66 National Conference, On November 19, we adopted a motion calling for our parliamentary party to commit to a national ban on consumer fireworks from early 2023-2024.”

“Domestic ban on fireworks has no effect”
There was no fireworks ban in Groningen during the last turn of the year. Lo-A-Njoe: “The fireworks ban only works with national bans. There were a dozen cities in the country where this ban was in effect, but what I saw was that it had no effect. With this ban, toys could still be sold.” Fireworks, otherwise people from the neighboring municipality would get them. And what I saw was that there were a lot of fireworks in these towns.”

“This is the time for us to call for a nationwide ban on fireworks”
However, no large-scale incidents occurred in Groningen. Lo-a-Ngui: “I’m glad about it. But you can’t say nothing happened at all. You also have to look further. Twelve officers were injured in The Hague. There are countless firework victims. For us, This is the time to advocate for a nationwide ban on fireworks. The police already demand it every year, and we’re not deaf to it. As a group, we’ll also join the national voice.”

Terence van Zoelen (PvdD): “The country is a war zone where animals crawl into corners and shiver”
Terence van Zoelen of the Party for the Animals is delighted with his colleague’s vote: “I am happy with this news. I hope it will be enough. The VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie in The Hague are hesitant when it comes to a total ban.” Van Zoelen hopes the ban will also come soon. “For a number of reasons. If we consider pets, it’s already impossible. During the turn of the year, the country turns into a war zone with dogs, cats and other animals crawling into a corner and shivering. In the meantime I’ve read reports of a number of officers being injured. People who know no bounds in a moment of euphoria and who attack caregivers. I am also very happy that the police are now clear about this.”

“More and more people are not having a nice day anymore”
“And for many people it is no longer a pleasant day. You see a shift in society in which more and more people are disturbed by blows. Banging causes so much suffering, and then I wonder if you want to. “The 11-year-old lost an eye and a hand to fireworks. A young life is shattered. Do we want to continue with that? The question is not if there will be a fireworks ban, but when. The mayor has already made it clear.”

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The countdown was organized in the Grote Markt on New Year’s Eve. These are the first steps towards the beginning of the future year. Video: Nordermedia

Terence van Zoelen (PvdD): “A light show or drone show creates connection”
In Groningen, people are already sorting through carefully until the end of the year ahead. The countdown took place in the Grote Markt on New Year’s Eve, where there were many speeches, musical performances and a light show. Van Zoelen: “As a council we have been dedicated to this for the past year and have set aside funds for this. The countdown has been done jointly with Lila’s poetry and various activities in the neighbourhoods. The fact that we have started working on this is very important because you have to come up with alternatives: it must not feel Bored young people. There must be something to go to. A light show or drone show creates a connection. And you can get a lot out of it. With a step-by-step plan, you can work towards a firework-free New Year, where you too Learn something from other cities.”

Examples of how other cities organize New Year’s Eve are plentiful. EYE TV Visiting Dublin several times in recent years, Dublin City Council has staged Winter Lights: from mid-November to January 1, there have been light shows and performances at seventeen different locations in the Irish capital. Walking methods led beyond expectations. In addition to the light shows, there were also displays during which photos of people who have given so much to their community in the past year were shown.

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In the Irish capital, Dublin, the year traditionally closes with projections and light shows at various locations in the city. Video: Dublin City Council

Jim Lo-A-Njoe (D66): “Some people also love fireworks, and that’s why we love the central fireworks display.”
Lo-A-Njoe: “My colleague from Party for the Animals, also GroenLinks, no longer likes to watch fireworks. As a party, we realize that there are also people who enjoy watching fireworks. Perhaps we could organize a centralized fireworks show? This would help Already significantly in terms of emissions of harmful substances. And if you organize it centrally, it also makes such an event manageable and controllable. This can be done well with a light show. And we should look not only at the inner city, but also at the neighborhood and village level. For example, we think we should respect carbide-firing in villages. People who do it, have been doing it for a long time. They know how to do it. You shouldn’t touch that.”

“Let the people talk”
And party leader D66 has another message: “It might also be good to let people talk. How do people in Groningen municipality want to celebrate New Year’s Eve? We can decide and decide everything from City Hall, but it is also important that people can express themselves about what they want “.

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