DEMONSTRATION AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF KLM
On wednesday the 17th November it was the turn of KLM's head office. The meeting point was at the Autonoom Centrum at 07.30. We had not telephoned the press today. We plan the action in a chaotic round of discussions. By 08.10 we had prepared a plan. Our aeroplane is already on board our KLM minibus. Eight of us leave and head in the direction of Amstelveen. The plan is a simple one, we go to the head office, attempt to get through the barriers and on to the private grounds, park the minibus in front of the main entrance, start distributing our pamphlets and then see what else we can get up to.
It was a piece of cake. As we approached the gates on the Amstelveenseweg, the security guard saw our minibus coming and waved us cheerfully through. With great hilarity we waved back as we drove past. Next we had to find the main entrance. The grounds were very large and full of parked cars, and it was hard to identify the entrance. finally we parked our minibus in front and climbed out. Unloading our aeroplane and setting it front of the entrance was a simple matter. One of our number took a handful of folders and stated his intention to go inside, which he did. He was the only one who was wearing his business suit. The rest of us busied ourselves with assembling the aircraft and handing out flyers to everyone going into the building. It was 08.35. Our man inside stood by the electric gates, that only open to those with a magnetic pass, and waited for about fifteen minutes for the moment when everyone was looking the other way, at which point he vaulted over the gates and disappeared past the row of lifts into the building. He pretended that he belonged and explored the building. He was looking for the directors office. As he walked around he heared snatches of conversation about the demonstrators outside. At least one worker agreed with the fact that it should be the government who is responsible for deportations and not KLM. The building was humming with activity. A few corridors further and he had found the right wing. It is only as he attempted to enter the directors offices that he was stopped and asked who he was looking for.
"Are you from KLM?"
"Of course." He was eventually refused access and handed some folders to the secretary with the request that they be handed on to the director. The astonished secretary accompanieed the activist back to the entrance.
"You did very well to get inside this building. Did you come in on your own?'"
"No, there were three of us."
The building was quickly searched for the missing two, the police were alerted and the head of security was called. The search for the other two proved fruitless. After receiving various confusing stories from us they were under the impression that there were another four people inside rather than three. We were ordered to leave the grounds. We gave out a lot more pamphlets and took some photos (see elsewhere), inside the building discussion and confusion continued.
As we left the grounds via the Amstelveenseweg entrance a car with two passengers screeched to a halt in front of us.
"Is one of you people S.B.?" It was Mr. T. Platenkamp, senior VP of security services at KLM. A man with quite a track record, ex. Comissionner of Dodgy Business for the police in Amsterdam, Chief of the team for Vice and Raids, second in command at the Central DEtectives Information Service (anti-terrorism), trained with the FBI etc. etc.
He was now responsible for KLM's part in deportations and anti-terrorism activities. He was responsible for arranging a meeting between KLM and the Autonoom Centrum in 1997. We discuss KLM's continuing role in deportations and government deportation policy. He claimed that KLM cannot refuse to be a part of this, we say that it could. He stated that he was aware of the fact that we were carrying out actions and as a closing point asked if we would like to take part in another meeting with KLM. We agreed to this and shook hands. At 10.10 we left the head office and headed back to the Autonoom Centrum.