In the Netherlands, demonstration in Utrecht against the extreme right after the victory of Geert Wilders

Chanting "you are not alone", a thousand people gathered in Utrecht, in the west of the Netherlands, on Thursday to protest against the surprise victory of far-right candidate Geert Wilders in the Dutch legislative elections on Wednesday

In the Netherlands, demonstration in Utrecht against the extreme right after the victory of Geert Wilders

Chanting "you are not alone", a thousand people gathered in Utrecht, in the west of the Netherlands, on Thursday to protest against the surprise victory of far-right candidate Geert Wilders in the Dutch legislative elections on Wednesday . Another demonstration against the far-right party also took place in the evening in Amsterdam.

Members of left-wing parties organized the Utrecht protest “to show the Dutch that we never abandon anyone and that we fight for everyone’s rights,” according to the organizers.

Led by Geert Wilders, the Party for Freedom (PVV), a populist, eurosceptic and Islamophobic formation, won thirty-seven deputy seats out of the one hundred and fifty in the Second Chamber, making it the leading party.

“An openly racist party”

Although it toned down its harshest anti-Islam remarks during the election campaign, the Freedom Party's (PVV) manifesto calls for a ban on mosques and the Koran.

Judy Karajoli, a 25-year-old Syrian journalism student, said Mr. Wilders' electoral success had caused her "great fear because the PVV is an openly racist party."

She said many of her friends were refugees with residence cards who now feared for their future. The PVV manifesto states that these residence permits should be canceled because “parts of Syria are now safe.” “So I know what it’s like to flee war to take refuge in a safe country, but now we no longer feel safe,” she told Agence France-Presse.

“I came here for freedom and tolerance, for a place where everyone can do what they want,” said Haahmed Hassan, a 30-year-old Egyptian software engineer. “When I see a party trying to make this country less, not more, safe, it scares me,” he argued.

After the victory of the far right in the legislative elections, the scale of which surprised people across borders, an arduous task awaits its Islamophobic leader Geert Wilders: convincing his rivals to form a coalition. To govern, he will have to come to an agreement with the parties from the right and the center right, who are cautious.