Egalité, Fraternité e Liberté

I just wrote a speech I am willing to share with you and the world. Hopefully I can use it when justice can correct the flaws of a country in despair…….

“Honourable judge, I want to ask you to speak to you today. Not only to you, but to all in this room here today, and even to everybody outside this room, in this beautiful city of love.

A little more than 16 years ago, I invited a beautiful girl from Brasil to visit me in Holland. Young, unemployed just graduated from university and single. We met just a few months earlier in Rio de Janeiro and I was happy I was able to invite her over. She brought a brand new passport, a few hundred dollars and guilders and my address and telephone number in her pocket. On Schiphol Airport she was stopped by the Dutch border police. In the mean time I heard nothing on my side of the border about her whereabouts, neither did she hear anything from me about my whereabouts. We both were angry, scared….. maybe, but hopeful things will turn out right. It took the police a few hours before they called me to the room as well. The explanation was simple: The police wanted to check me out. Because a young person with so much cash and a Dutch address in her pocket was for them reason enough for suspicion. A few hours later they let us go. We were happy. Not only for being together, but also for these safety measures. These measures prevent, for example, illegal prostitution and are there to protect and serve the good willing people.

Now, little more than 16 years later, I invited my brother in law from Brasil. A man, married and a young father of 2 gorgeous boys, having a job in Rio de Janeiro, being a volunteer in the local Catholic Church. My wife and I (we are married for 15 years in 2016!!) are happy to be able to invite him to visit us. I met him over 16 years ago, and last seen each other about 8 years ago. We have never met his children yet, and he never met our youngest pride. He never travelled outside Brasil, nor to say to Europe. This man is an example to me, to you, to every man in this room, in this city, on this planet. This man is dedicated to his loved ones more than most men are. Even when times get tough, and they do in Brasil, from time to time.

Anyway, we told him to bring a brand new passport, travel light, because there is nothing he needs while he will stay with us the whole time. He had a little letter with him telling the officials he is visiting his sister and staying with us. Together with our names, address and telephone-numbers in his pocket he went on his maiden voyage by an Air France airplane. On Paris airport Charles de Gaulle he was stopped by the French police. In the mean time we heard nothing on our side about his whereabouts, neither did he hear anything from us. A few hours later he could reach me, he told me was held by the police. We both were angry, scared……. maybe, but hopeful things will turn out right. It took me 6 hours to get to Paris by car to support him. Although I was at Zapi3, which we called the ‘hotel’ ever since, at 7.30pm (visiting hours are until 8pm) they did not let me in. They did not speak to me, nor explain anything to me. No-one spoke one word of English…

I went on to my friends in Paris. We are proud and rich to have such great friends in Paris to let me stay unexpectedly in their house. The day after I would try to see him again. Reasons why he was forbidden to continue his travel were explained and put on paper – in French only. There were two reasons:

  • His papers where not in order: He missed an invitation from our side….
  • He did not carry sufficient money for his stay: An estimated €1000!!…..

I tried to explain them (at Zapi3) he carried a brand new passport, a letter (from which the Dutch Police – Marechaussee – agreed as fit for the travel!!) with our address stating his visit with his sister, but there was nothing they could and want to do. Again no-one spoke English or dare to do so. I carried enough money to hand over to him to support his visit and finally, together with a nice friendly officer, we did. We also made a more official invitation in French (for a visit to his SISTER…..), so all requirements should be in order now…

Untill now it did not change his situation. Although I am confident in your judgement and that you will decide accordingly and we can finally share precious time together I want to address to you, this room and the world about the following:

All of us, my brother in law, me, my wife, my friends here with us, support the strict rules on traveling. We support all right measures to keep the wrong people out. But the rules should also allow the right people to enter our free world!

“Our free world”, we always call our world the free world, because we live in a society based on freedom. We are entitled to say whatever  and go wherever we want without the risk of being caught and send to jail. Our “free world” based on three simple terms. Terms invented in this great country: France. Terms represented by the colours of your flag, and also mine (the Dutch one). Egalité, Fraternité and Liberté. First time introduced during the French Revolution in the 19th century but finds it origin in the century before already. These French word are the basis of the whole free (Western) world. A world that consists of countries like France, Holland, America but also Brasil and many many more. A world that we defend and cherish. Values that we fight for and are proud of.

Since the last years attacks in France (Charlie Hebdo and later on again in Paris) and more recent on Zaventem in Belgium and the constant threat for new attacks more and more national leaders declare “states of emergency” and claim to be a country at war. All to defend our three main values: “Egalité, Fraternité and Liberté”. But can we be in war? War is a machine that exists in the wish for two different countries that claim the same property. Is that the case nowadays? I think not. I do not say we are not under attack, but it is not war. The attacks are not based on the wish to gain the grounds we live on. The attacks are not even based on the wish to claim our values. The attacks have only one goal, the goal to destroy these values. Once these values are destroyed the opposite has won.

Constantly I hear world leaders say these terrorist won’t win. Constantly I hear world leaders say that they are determined to overcome these attacks and our values will prevail. A while ago these speeches made me silently proud. All leaders from the free world claim to stick together in defending these values. But so far, unfortunately without success. Attacks still take place, not only on our own grounds, but all over the world.

Dear court, honourable judge. Again I  state I am in favour of strict controls at our borders and  stronger regulations on who and when people can enter our free world, but this last week to me was a proof the terrorists are winning. Our three most valuable terms did not longer exist. My brother in law was captured while he did nothing wrong – His Liberté was there for strongly limited. Any possibility to correct any failure I or he made in the recent past was made impossible – Our Fraternité was there for obviously less important. The way he has been treated: For two days in a row now, he was put in a cold and empty room at the airport trying to break him so he would ‘voluntarily’ requests his return to Brasil (and repeatedly asking him to do so) is clearly a breach of our value Egalité.

But like I said earlier: I am confident in you – honourable Judge – to correct this. You have the power to restore these values. You have the power to regain a little of my faith, of my brothers faith, even the faith of many others in this room and outside this room, to set him free and let him join the remaining of his holiday in our shared free world. To show him we are brothers who live in peace and are equal to one another. Despite our difference in background and lives, it is the only right thing to do!

 

Thank you for your time!!

 

Yours gratefuly,

Your brother and friend in this free world,

Ante Brinkman

 

PS1: I did not get the opportunity to use the speech, I even did not bring it with me. I had my moment to answer some questions, but the main part was played by my brother in law. And he did marvelous!! I am proud to have is my brother!!!

PS2: The judge did the only right thing he could do!!


Freedom comes with responsibilities….

Freedom comes with responsibilities….

Lately I am more and more astonished when I read and hear the news.

This weekend on the walls of our Palace in Amsterdam someone wrote “Fuck de Koning”. I guess there is no need in translating these words into English…. Well maybe I need to add that “de Koning” means “the King”. This was presumably to support a fellow Dutchman who shouted these words “Fuck de Koning, Fuck de Koningin, Fuck het Koningshuis” last year when he was demonstrating for a “Zwarte Piet-Discussion” arrested doing so. His lawyer announced his client would be fuckdekoningcharged for offending the King. In stead of a community speaking out there disgust on someone ruining the outer walls of the Palace a discussion started wether it is allowed to say something like this… People say that article 111 “Insulting the King” is outdated and is not according to the “Freedom of Speech” from our Constitution.

Last week there was an attack at a exposition of Mohammed-cartoons near Dallas-Texas in America, IS claimed the attack. The meeting was attended by Geert Wilders. A Dutch politician who made it his lifework to ‘fight’ the Islam with all he can. He will not leave any possibility unused to spread his word on Anti-Islam. Walking a thin line and claiming his “Freedom of speech” to do so. Even stronger, claiming the Islam is the enemy of our Freedom (of Speech). Among some of his statements are:

charlie-hebdo-alles-is-vergeven_0 (1)Early 2015 the Hebdo-shooting accured. An heartless attack on people working at Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Let me state I do not agree on the shooting and killing of more then 10 people in the name of Allah. Shooting people is not an answer to any aggression in general. Right after the shooting people started shouting “Je suis Charlie”, to show there support to the victims and the satiric newspaper Charlie Hebdo. My answer was “Je ne suis pas Charlie”. I am, and I state that again, against the shooting, but I am also against the freedom of speech they (Charlie Hebdo and many others) claim to use…

I believe in Freedom, I strive for Freedom every day. I think Freedom is an ultimate way of living. I believe freedom will bring out the best in everybody. Freedom in your every day lives results in the best choices for you and your family. Freedom in your works results in the best results in your job.

Freedom will result in happiness BUT this all will only happen unless…………… it comes with responsibilities!!!

Freedom does NOT give people the right to offend others. It does NOT give people the right to hurt the other person in any way. Insulting people, groups or (certain) believes are NOT messages of FREEDOM they are messages of SUPPRESSION. Because….

  • When we offend other people in any way, we suppress them to our own thoughts, to our own believes….
  • When we insult someones believe by drawing horrific cartoons on their leader, we suppress them to our own believes….

Freedom comes with responsibilities, use them wisely!!!

Let me close with a saying from Abraham Lincoln:

Wall Quotes - Abraham Lincoln - Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves


Welcome dear readers

I want to welcome you on my blog-site.

Here I will post my reflections on everything that interests or triggers me. Sometimes I will publish in Dutch, sometimes in English. I apologize for the ones who can’t read Dutch (but google translate does miracles).

I am self employed, entrepeneur so to speak, and I am always seeking for freedom. Freedom is, to me, the ultimate way of living. Everybody deserves freedom, and no-one should be hold back to live in freedom.

Freedom is according to the Cambridge dictionary:

…….the condition or right of being able or allowed to do, say,think, etc. whatever you want to, without being controlled or limited…….

So freedom is not only freedom of speech, freedom to live, freedom to go anywhere you like, etc. Freedom is also “not being limited” by anything. And this anything is the base-line of everything I want to gain in live. Not just for me, but for the people around me, the ones I love.

But also for the you!! It is this longing for freedom that thrives my ideas as entrepeneur.

I hope you will enjoy my posts. If so leave a comment and share!! If not, do the same. I am looking forward to all your feedback!!

With kind regards,

Ante Brinkman