20 August 1983: Kerwin was walking with a friend
in Amsterdam when he was pestered by a group of skinheads. He went into a
nearby snackbar but when he came out, one of the group told Kerwin he had
no right to walk there and abused him racially. Kerwin said he could walk
wherever he wanted to, whereupon he was stabbed in the stomach. The
attacker had the words '100% white' tatooed on his arm.
Kerwin ran to the Dam Square, got into a taxi and asked to be taken to
hospital. The taxi driver said he didn't want blood all over the seat,
took him out of the car, lay him on the ground and told him to wait for
Kerwin lay there while onlookers stood round him watching his blood seep
into the cracks between the cobble stones. It was almost 20 minutes before
the ambulance arrived to take him to hospital. He died shortly after.
Both Kerwin and his killer were 15 years old.
Every year on 20 August you will find us at the Dam Square, remembering
what happened here in 1983, affirming our commitment to the condemnation
of attitudes which say that one colour is better than another, one belief
is better than another, one culture or language or custom is better than
any other culture, language or custom.
By doing this we hope to remind people of the other side of tolerance; the
side which allows children to kill each other and fascist mindsets to
sanction such murders. We do it also to
repeat that no matter how individuals or the media may try to reframe it,
there is no denying that this murder was racism - plain and simple.