Do you believe in the power of international solidarity and building a global movement for economic and social justice from the bottom up? The Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV) believes, and these are not just words. The FNV has always stood out for its active international stance, and this year's FNV Solidarity Festival 2023 was a clear testament to this solidarity.
The FNV has a history of active support for the struggle for justice and human rights, starting with the events following the coup in Chile in 1973. The Dutch Confederation of Trade Unions (NVV) and, later, the federated Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV), created on its basis, were actively involved in solidarity actions with the Chilean trade unionists, giving them a strong shoulder and support.
The FNV 2023 Solidarity Festival brought together trade unionists from different countries, including Belarus, Myanmar, Iran, Columbia, Belgium and Italy. Special attention was paid to the representative of the Belarusan trade unions - the chairperson of Salidarnast e.V. Lizaveta Merliak. This organization unites Belarusian trade union activists who were forced to leave their homeland because of repressions and persecutions.
In her speech Lizaveta Merliak spoke about the harsh realities that currently reign in Belarus. She described to the festival participants how Lukashenka's regime suppresses any form of protest and persecutes dissent.
It should be noted that the cooperation between the Dutch trade union and Belarusian democratic trade unions started back in 1995 and did not stop even after the liquidation of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP) last year. It continues today with the organization Salidarnast e.V.
The program of the festival was full of interesting events and activities. The whole day was filled with events, starting with the morning registration and music reception.The kick-off program included performances, video screenings and interviews.For those who did not attend, there were a variety of fun activities such as a book market, graffiti workshops, an information market and more. FNV Bondcast episodes were also recorded at the festival.
The festival's musical accompaniment did not leave anyone indifferent. Guests could enjoy live performances by Shishani and "Dyar".
The plenary day ended with a closing ceremony, where all participants gathered to summarize the results of this day of solidarity and exchange impressions.