Power to the People!

This evening, leaders of Europe’s most important protest movements converge on De Balie to discuss activism, strategies and giving a voice to Europe’s people.

This programme is part of the festival Forum on European Culture, 17 – 20 September in Amsterdam.

The Sardines take over the squares in Italy, the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) in France dominate the news and Extinction Rebellion’s artistic interventions get worldwide attention: protest movements have been swarming capitals throughout Europe.

What do they have in common and how did they continue to operate under lockdown? How do they intend to shape Europe’s future, like protest movements have shaped Europe in the past? With a.o: Wong Yik Mo (Demosisto) Benjamin Roll (Million Moments for Democracy),  Priscillia Ludosky (France, Yellow Vests), Mattia Santori (Sardines), Naomie Pieter (Black Queer & Trans Resistance NL) and Clare Farrell (Extinction Rebellion) we explore how protest movements give a voice to the Europeans who are not heard.

The programme will be moderated by Sophie Derkzen.

This program will be livestreamed on our website


Benjamin Roll (Czech, 1985) is the co-founder of the movement Million Moments for Democracy. Benjamin Roll helped to draw over a quarter of a million people to a demonstration against Prime Minister Babis in June 2019. Those were the largest since the Velvet Revolution. But the aims of the Czech activist are larger: “If more and more people will find a moment for democracy — a small gesture — it will change something in society.”

Clare Farrell (United Kingdom) is the co-founder of the environmental action group Extinction Rebellion. This global environmental movement uses nonviolent civil disobedience to raise widespread awareness for climate change as an existential threat and to compel governments to immediately act on this. As a fashion designer and visual artist, she leads the XR Art team, which is responsible for the action group’s successful branding.

Priscilla Ludosky (1985) is an activist and one of the founders of the yellow vest movement. In 2018 she published an online petition about the need for ‘lower taxes on essential goods, the implemenation of citizens’ initiative referendum, lower pensions and salaries of senior officials and election officials.’ Although some political parties’ MP contacted her to see if she was interested in joining them, she refuses to participate in political parties.

Intersectional queer and anti-racist activist Naomie Pieter (1990) is the founder of ‘ Pon Di Pride’ and co-founder of ‘Black Queer & Trans Resistance NL’, as well as the founder of Black Pride NL. She is also a leading voice within the Black Lives Matter movement. Having completed her training as a choreographer at Amsterdam’s Academy of Theatre and Dance, Naomie mixes the organisation of protest rallies and designing choreographies effortlessly.

Wong Yik Mo is an activist from Hong Kong. He is one of the faces of the pro-democracy political party Demosisto and organised major demonstrations and assemblies in Hong Kong in the last years, including those with over 1.2 and 1.7 million participants.

Mattia Santori (1987) is the founder and “face” of the Sardine movement in Italy. The grassroots movement has enjoyed incredible momentum in late 2019, when the Sardines mobilized in huge numbers to speak up against the growing polarization and xenophobia brought on by the political presence and the discourse of Matteo Salvini’s Lega and other far-right groups. Despite exerting sizeable influence on public debate, Santori wishes to remain free from direct political affiliations.


Benjamin Roll Co-founder Million Moments
Clare Farrell VIA ZOOM
Co-founder Extinction Rebellion
Priscillia LudoskyVIA ZOOM
Co-founder Yellow Vests
Wong Yik Mo VIA ZOOM
Activist from Hong Kong
Mattia Santori Founder and “face” of the Sardine movement
Naomie Pieter Co-founder Black Queer & Trans Resistance NL
Sophie DerkzenModerator