Rotterdam is a puzzling place.Much of the city was devastated by bombings in World War II. As a result, the architecture is not only modern, but bizarre. My friend kept saying he felt like we were walking around an amusement park – but you can’t ride the rides, because they’re buildings. It is fast-paced and a little less warm and charming. There is a definite diversity in people, food, and atmosphere, and as we walked around I found all of it refreshing.
After leaving the city hall, which managed to survive the WWII bombings and is one of the oldest buildings in Rotterdam, we stumbled upon some modern day newsmakers. The Occupy movement is truly popping up everywhere; we hurriedly crossed the street to see a part of in real time. Doing my best to follow its developments in the US from Holland, it was funny, a little disorienting, and very exciting to see Occupiers in my temporary neck of the woods.
I asked one of the demonstrators if the group had started sleeping out on the Stock Exchange steps. Not yet, he said, but 5 or 6 more people would make the group large enough to stay round the clock. They have been at the site since October 15th and didn’t seem to be in any hurry to pack up and move on.
There seemed to be about 25-30 demonstrators in the group… peaceful, conversational, well-informed, and occupying the steps with a sense of purpose. It made this article feel not so far away.
Pretty cool to see.