© Amnesty International

Masterclass ‘the Right to Protest’

Masterclass ‘the Right to Protest’

Last week we had our first Masterclass of the new study year. Together with 45 students we discussed the Right to Protest in the Netherlands. Through different case studies they realized that this is a very complex topic. But they were up for the challenge! One of them was Emma Haverdings. Let’s see what her experience was.

Hi! My name is Emma, I’m 20 years old and I’m a second-year psychology student at the University of Utrecht. Next to my studies, I’m also on this year’s board for the Amnesty International Student Group Utrecht (AISU). We raise awareness for local and global human rights issues amongst our fellow students, and teach them how they can actively change these situations. One very important way of raising awareness for us is to take to the streets and protest.

That’s why I joined Amnesty’s Masterclass for students on Friday the 14th of September about the Right to Protest at the Amnesty the Netherlands headquarters in Amsterdam. This Masterclass seemed interesting to me, since I want to be involved in protests in the future and I’ll have to know my rights to be able to make correct use of them. I was also looking forward to meeting like-minded, socially-engaged students to discuss different case studies with.

We mostly learned what the right to protest entails for people in Holland. One of the most unexpected things I learned of this masterclass was that the right to protest isn’t being protected enough in Holland. That’s why we got practical information on what to think of when organizing a protest, and what to do when the authorities try to censure your protest. The take-home message we consequently got from Amnesty was to proclaim our rights, and take to the streets when we feel injustice is quietly being accepted by society.

I can definitely recommend joining a masterclass for students at the Amnesty House. You will be pushed to think critically about global and national human rights issues together with other students. The discussions that follow are very interesting and you get to form your own opinion in the end, even if you have little background knowledge in human rights. Just try and open your eyes once in a while, and see how you can actively change the bigger picture.