Als je provo zegt, dan denk je bijna automatisch aan Amsterdam. The protest movement of the mid-60s is mainly in Amsterdam, but that does not mean that the Provos have not succeeded as well in Rotterdam foot to get off the ground.

Provo's in Rotterdam. Foto: Jan Voets, Anefo. Nationaal Archief

Provo’s in Rotterdam. Foto: Jan Voets, Anefo. Nationaal Archief

It is difficult to explain the phenomenon provo. Perhaps the paraphrase "loitering with a political opinion" still the closest. The concept provo introduced by researcher Wouter Buikhuisen in his research backgrounds of nozemgedrag. The word refers to provoke. Both the Provos as the punks are anti-authoritarian.

Thom Holterman together with his brother Arnold a "prominent provo". He is friends with Roel van Duijn, which is considered one of the founders of the Amsterdam Provo movement. "My brother Arnold and I were at the Rotterdam branch of the Ban the Bomb Group", Holterman explains. "That was a movement against the use of nuclear weapons."

"I come from anti-militarist corner and led me to delve into anarchism", Holterman looks back. "With Marxism and Maoism (forms of socialism, DD) I had not so much, because of their authoritarian attitude. We had more of an alternative and peaceful society. "

The later development of provo in Rotterdam
Provo was born in Amsterdam. The highlight of the movement is the disruption of the wedding of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus. During the ride stabbing local Provos smoke bombs. De beelden gaan de hele wereld over.

In Rotterdam, the Provo movement still in its infancy. Events, also referred to as a happening, have not been here. "The Provo movement is mainly originated from high school students", Holterman says. "Part of it went to Amsterdam. Hence the lead. In addition, Rotterdam has a different demographic. "

GRAPH - Provo Rotterdam 2 - Nationaal Archief

Foto: Jan Voets, Anefo. Nationaal Archief.

Despite some small meetings, takes halfway 1966 Before Rotterdam also has its first provo-happening. Op 14 mei 1966 on the Hermes Plantsoen (between the Old and New Binnenweg) held a meeting. Around eleven o'clock, there are approximately one hundred to two hundred young people at the statue of Pongo, a small dog, which is now on the Old Binnenweg.

De happening zou om elf over elf beginnen. The subject: making it livable Rotterdam, with more green, cheaper public transport and more nightspot ('Beatclubs').

The police are aware of the meeting and keep an eye on things. If then at eleven on eleven foreman Joop Stolk, brother of the famous Amsterdam Provo, Rob Stolk, climbs on the image of Pongo to speak, The police intervene. The event is a disturbance of public order and must not continue.

Arrested for provoking a 'Happening' (provo meeting). Foto: Jan Voets, Anefo. Nationaal Archief

Arrested for provoking a 'Happening’ (provo meeting). Foto: Jan Voets, Anefo. Nationaal Archief

Stolk calls the attendees to, as opposed to in Amsterdam, just quietly go away. If there is a pair of short chants heard against the war in Vietnam, The police intervene yet. Stolk was arrested with him and 23 other.

A day later (on Sunday!) is part of the youth to court. The judge was not lenient: "Rotterdam can not have these things. Before that Rotterdam is an active city. "There are pronounced punishments of six days in jail. And nothing conditionally. Just six days.

Protest continues
Is it just made immediately with the Rotterdam Provo movement? Nee. The Provos meet every Saturday together. First at the Hermes Plantsoen, with the image of Pongo, but later in other places, because the police still awaits the Provos.

Increasingly, the police arrested several rebels on, which are then sentenced to several days in prison.

New Generation
Rotterdam has also arisen a second Provo movement: The New Generation. When the founders also told Arnold and Thom Holterman. In het najaar van 1966 they come in the news. They visit the household purse Femina. They are, because they want with Mayor Thomassen and one of his councilors present at the fair in conversation. They are demanding their own place in the city.

"It was the New Generation group who managed to do that there was a private center for youngsters, of Leiperd ", says Thom Holterman. "They were under the Willemsbrug."

That was one reaches the main goals of the Provo movement. Holterman: "A private place for the unattached youth. Many of the youth work was focused on the association at that time. Then turned the Leiperd once we transferred it to the youth, which then changed its name to Flaming Star ".