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Cowardly homophobes throw fireworks at house flying Pride flag in solidarity with gay neighbours

Nick Duffy September 15, 2020
Jesper Raaijman, who lives in Amsterdam Oost, says incendiary devices were thrown at his house

Jesper Raaijman, who lives in Amsterdam Oost, says incendiary devices were thrown at his house (File photo)

A Dutch man flying a rainbow flag from his balcony to protest homophobia had fireworks thrown at his house, so his neighbours

Jesper Raaijman, who lives in Amsterdam Oost, says incendiary devices were thrown at his house on Saturday evening (September 12) and again the following day.

Speaking to Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool, Raaijman said of the first incident: “I was sitting on the couch with my curtains open a little when I heard something falling on my balcony and someone running away.

“I went to see what was happening, and then saw a red flash. I realised I had to get away because the glass might shatter. That didn’t happen, but my flower box was blown up.”

The house was targeted a second time on Sunday, when a firework was set off on the ground floor.

The trainee healthcare worker explained he was one of several people in the area to put up rainbow flags in July after a local gay couple flying the flag had their home pelted with eggs.

Jesper Raaijman, who lives in Amsterdam Oost, says fireworks were thrown at his house
Jesper Raaijman, who lives in Amsterdam Oost, says fireworks were thrown at his house

Raaijman added that his home had also been targeted with eggs in August, after he put up the flag.

He told Algemeen Dagblad: “Last time I was on holiday and a friend was in my house when the eggs flew in.

“I just hope it stays with this. Who knows, it might be a stone next time… what if something happens when my girlfriend is home alone? I would find that awful.”

The 35-year-old said he has had plenty of support from his neighbours in their local WhatsApp group. He had vowed to keep the flag up, adding: “Hopefully my neighbours will also participate.”

He continued: “More attention needs to be paid to this. I think that this shouldn’t be the case in Amsterdam, that you cannot even have a rainbow flag hanging on your balcony.”

Amsterdam police are investigating the anti-LGBT+ incident.

Amsterdam police confirmed that its LGBT+ hate crime division is investigating the two fireworks bomb incidents — with an officer even witnessing the second incident while in the area to make enquiries.

The police spokesperson said: “The officer happened to be conducting a neighbourhood investigation on Sunday evening because of the incident the day before, when he suddenly saw a flash and a bang. No one was found, but it was evident that another firework bomb had been dropped.”

In May, a gay couple in Amsterdam were violently attacked with a shard of glass by teenage thugs, in the latest in a series of anti-gay incidents.

More: Amsterdam, Netherlands

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