|Founders||Sylvana Simons |
Ian van der Kooye
|Founded||24 December 2016|
|Political position||Left-wing to far-left|
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|House of Representatives|
1 / 150
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0 / 29
8 / 8,237
BIJ1 (Dutch pronunciation: [bɛi̯ˈeːn]; lit. 'together'), formerly known as Article 1 (Dutch: Artikel 1), is a political party in the Netherlands. It was founded in Amsterdam in 2016 by Sylvana Simons, a television personality who was formerly connected to another party, Denk. BIJ1 aligns itself as an anti-capitalist, progressive left-wing party, advocating economic justice and fighting racism and discrimination in the Netherlands.
In 2016, Sylvana Simons joined Denk, a political movement founded by MPs Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk after leaving the Labour Party following an internal dispute over the party's position on integration. In December of the same year, Simons left the movement as she was disappointed by the lack of support she received from the party during a period of intense death threats. She also felt that Denk was becoming increasingly conservative and losing interest in progressive causes such as LGBT rights.
On 15 March 2017, Article 1 contested the general election with Simons as lijsttrekker. Other prominent candidates were anthropologist Gloria Wekker and former Socialist Party senator Anja Meulenbelt. The party failed to get enough endorsements in the provinces of Friesland and Drenthe to get on the ballot.
Article 1 managed to gain 28,700 votes (0.27%), missing the 0.67% threshold to get a seat in parliament. The party was mostly supported in municipalities with a large Afro-Dutch population, such as Amsterdam (2.5%), Almere (1.9%), Diemen (1.7%) and Rotterdam (1.3%). The party also achieved an above average result in the Caribbean Netherlands (1.6%). The party scored negligibly in the more rural municipalities and cities with little or no immigrant population.
The party was sued by anti-discrimination think tank Art.1 for trademark infringement. The judge's verdict was in favor of Art.1, and therefore Simons was forced to change the name of the party. On 29 October 2017, the new name was announced: BIJ1. BIJ1 refers to the Dutch word bijeen, which translates to "together".
In March 2018, the party only contested in the municipal elections in Amsterdam. Sylvana Simons was again elected as lijsttrekker. During the campaign a candidate of the party was accused of lying about her résumé, in which she wrongfully claimed to be a psychiatrist. She was eventually withdrawn as a candidate.
Despite this incident, the party won 6,571 votes (1.9%), just enough to win a seat on the city council. The best results for BIJ1 were in Amsterdam-Zuidoost, especially in the Bijlmermeer, which is home to a large Surinamese migrant population.
In February 2020, the party announced that it would compete in the 2021 general election. In November 2020, the candidate list was approved by the general assembly. Sylvana Simons was again selected as lijsttrekker and anti-racism activist Quinsy Gario was placed as the second place candidate. The party is supported by prominent lijstduwers, such as academic Gloria Wekker and actresses Anousha Nzume and Romana Vrede.
According to the party, its two pillars are radical equality and economic justice. The party strives for the emancipation of the LGBT community, stronger anti-hate speech laws and an end to ethnic profiling, and it supports intersectionality. Because of the party's left-wing radicalism, it is often cited along with socialist parties and movements. Rebekka Timmer, member of the commission for the party program and number three on the list for the 2021 elections, however, shows an indifferent view in regards to the term communism, but admits to drawing inspiration from anti-capitalist thinkers, for example Karl Marx. She does oppose communism as it is envisioned by China and the Soviet Union, calling it state capitalism.
The party advocates for the independence and recognition of the State of Palestine, Republic of South Maluku and the Republic of West Papua. It also supports paying reparations to former Dutch colonies such as the Dutch Caribbean, Suriname and Indonesia.
Economically, the party calls for a single-payer healthcare system, the closing of the gender wage gap and replacing gross domestic product with the concept of gross national happiness as the dominant economic indicator.
|2017||Sylvana Simons||28,700||0.27 (#16)||
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|New||No seats|
1 / 150
|2018||Amsterdam||Sylvana Simons||6,571||1.9 (#12)||
1 / 45
2 / 45
|Amsterdam||Jazie Veldhuyzen||21,441||6.8 (#5)||
3 / 45
|Delft||Jeanette Chedda||883||2.1 (#12)||
0 / 39
|Rotterdam||Mieke Megawati Vlasblom||8,094||4.1 (#9)||
2 / 45
|Utrecht||Stevie Nolten||5,403||3.4 (#11)||
1 / 45
Noem het communisme, wij noemen het rechtvaardigheid (...) Ik weet niet of het heel veel raakvlakken heeft – natuurlijk, we zijn geïnspireerd door antikapitalistische denkers. Wij vinden daar veel in, maar wij hebben echt een eigen ideologie, want het socialisme, als je wil, daar zei Karl Max natuurlijk al over: dat moet je afstemmen op de plaats en de locatie en de materiële omstandigheden van het hier en nu. Wij vinden het ook belangrijk dat we gewoon naar de samenleving kijken zoals die nu is en dan gaan kijken wat zijn de rechtvaardige oplossingen en niet per se de geschiedenisboeken erbij pakken om te kijken wat iemand anders ooit heeft gezegd.
(Call it communism, we call it justice (...) I don't know if it has a lot of similarities – of course, we've been inspired by anti-capitalist thinkers. We find a lot in it, but we really have our own ideology because socialism, if you will – Karl Marx has said about it: you need to adapt it to the place and the location and the material conditions of the current place and time. We think it's important to look at society as it exists now and then have a look at what the righteous solutions are and not to get the history books out to see what someone else has said in the past.)