Dutch people united against NATO’s cruise missiles (1981)

Picture: Shutterstock
Written by: 360.org

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

1981 -

On this day in the year 1981, 400.000 people demonstrated against cruise missiles in Amsterdam. These protesters were followers of various religion types, but they stood together to make the government stop their plans of deploying US cruise missiles on Dutch ground. This demonstration was very crucial to the people, because the US cruise missiles carried nuclear warheads, which were generally neutron bombs.

1000 miles
Cruise missiles are designed to be guided in any chosen direction at a constant speed. These missiles are basically small airplanes that can fly a distance of 1000 miles, depending on the composition. The missiles can transport any explosive with a maximum weight of 1000 pounds and cost between 500.000 and 1.000.000 dollars each.

Ignored by the government
After the demonstration in Amsterdam, there were 3.75 million signatures gathered. Unfortunately, by the time the signatures were presented to government, the ministry had already given its permission to the NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization). However, the Dutch citizens never gave up and this lead to many other demonstrations over the years. The installation was postponed and in the end, The Netherlands is the only NATO-country that never got cruise missiles.

Trivial fact
The demonstrations against the cruise missiles were also named ‘Hollanditis’. This term was made up by the American historian Walter Lacquer. He used the name ‘Hollanditis’ in an article about the Dutch peace demonstrations. Demonstrations such as ‘Hollanditis’ were eventually taken over by other European countries.



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