Dutch men are holding hands in solidarity against anti-LGBTQ violence

Alexander Pechtold (left), leader of the Democrats D66 party, and Wouter Koolmees, financial specialist, hold hands in a solidarity action for two gay men who were physically abused.
Image: LEX VAN LIESHOUT/ EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Dutch men are holding hands in an act of protest and solidarity after a gay couple was brutally beaten for holding hands in public. 

Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Verne were holding hands in Arnhem, Netherlands, when they were attacked by a group in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Vernes-Sewratan told Dutch broadcaster NOS that they don’t usually hold hands in public because they “don’t want to provoke people.”

“But we’d had a nice evening, it was late and we thought we were alone,” he said.

“Before I knew it I was on the ground fighting with three men on top of me,” Vernes-Sewratan continued.

The attack prompted widespread outrage in the Netherlands, and Dutch journalist Barbara Berend called on men to hold hands in solidarity with Vernes-Sewratan and Sewratan-Verne and to share photos using the #allemannenhandinhand (#allmenhandinhand) hashtag. 

Dutch politician Alexander Pechtold — leader of the Netherlands’ Democrats 66 party — tweeted an image of himself holding hands with fellow party member Wouter Koolmees as they entered negotiations about a new Dutch government.

“Stop violence against gay people,” tweeted Pechtold. 

Ahmed Marcouch, a member of the Dutch Labour party, tweeted a photo of himself holding hands with a group of people. “Hand in hand with gay people and shoulder to shoulder against discrimination as a criminal offence. Together for freedom, equality and brotherhood,” Marcouch tweeted. 

One teacher tweeted a photo of her students holding hands because they “would like everyone to be able to walk hand in hand.” 

Dutch football club N.E.C. Nijmegen posted a photo of players holding hands outside its stadium. 

Pierre van Hooijdonk, a retired Dutch international footballer, joined the Twitter campaign, posting a photo of him holding hands with another man. 

The Academic Medical Centre posted a photo of two doctors holding hands. 

And, Dutch airline Transavia posted a photo of two pilots holding hands. 

Radio station Tijd voor MAX Radio tweeted a photo of one of its presenters holding hands with author Gerard Aalders. 

Dutch police joined the protest against homophobia and posted a photo of police officers holding hands on Instagram. 

Overseas, Dutch people working overseas joined the campaign from afar. Male colleagues working for Netherlands Mission at the United Nations in New York walked hand in hand on the streets of New York City. 

WATCH: Airbnb wants you to wear this ring until LGBTQ people can get married

And, male colleagues from the Dutch Embassy in London held hands on the streets of London. 

👏 👏 👏 👏

WATCH: Airbnb wants you to wear this ring until LGBTQ people can get married