LeaderSylvana Simons
FoundersSylvana Simons
Ian van der Kooye
Founded24 December 2016 (2016-12-24)
Split fromDenk[1]
Youth wingRAD1CAAL
Political positionLeft-wing[6][7] to far-left[8][9]
Colours Black
0 / 75
House of Representatives
1 / 150
0 / 570
European Parliament
0 / 29
Amsterdam Municipal Council
1 / 45

BIJ1 (Dutch pronunciation: [bɛi̯ˈeːn]; lit.'together'), formerly known as Article1 (Dutch: Artikel1), is an anti-racist and anti-capitalist political party in the Netherlands. The party was founded in 2016 by Sylvana Simons, a television personality who was formerly connected to Denk.[10][11][12] BIJ1 focuses on fighting racism and discrimination in the Netherlands.[13]


Logo of Artikel1


In 2016, Sylvana Simons joined Denk, a political movement founded by MPs Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk after leaving the Labour Party following an internal dispute over the party's position on integration.[14][15] In December of the same year, Simons left the movement because she was disappointed by the amount of support she received from the party during a period of intense death threats.[16] She also felt that Denk was becoming increasingly more conservative and that it was losing interest in more progressive causes, such as LGBT rights.

Directly after her departure from Denk, Simons founded her own party named "Article1". This refers to the first article of the Dutch constitution, which prohibits discrimination and racism.

2017 general election

On 15 March 2017, Article1 contested the parliamentary election with Simons as lijsttrekker. Other prominent candidates for Article1 were anthropologist Gloria Wekker and former Socialist Party senator Anja Meulenbelt. Article1 failed to get enough endorsements in the provinces of Friesland and Drenthe to get on the ballot.

Article1 managed to gain 28,700 votes (0.27%), missing the 0.67% threshold to get a seat in parliament. The party was mostly supported in municipalities with a large Afro-Dutch population, such as Amsterdam (2.5%), Almere (1.9%), Diemen (1.7%) and Rotterdam (1.3%). The party also achieved a above average result in the Caribbean Netherlands (1.6%). The party scored neglibly in the more rural municipalities and cities with little or no immigrant population.

Name change

The party Article1 was sued by anti-discrimination think tank Art.1 for trademark infringement. The judge's verdict was in favor of Art.1, and therefore Simons was forced to change the name of the party.[17] On 29 October 2017, the new name was announced: BIJ1.[18] BIJ1 refers to the Dutch word bijeen, which translates to "together".

2018 municipal elections

The party only contested the municipal elections in March 2018 in Amsterdam. Sylvana Simons was again elected as lijsttrekker. During the campaign a candidate of the party was accused of lying about her résumé, in which she wrongfully claimed to be a psychiatrist. She was eventually withdrawn as a candidate.[19]

Despite this incident, the party won 6,571 votes (1.9%), just enough to win a seat on the city council. The best results for BIJ1 were in Amsterdam-Zuidoost, especially in the Bijlmermeer, which is home to a large Surinamese migrant population.

2021 general election

In February 2020, the party announced that it would compete in the 2021 general election.[20] In November 2020, the candidate list was approved by the general assembly. Sylvana Simons was again selected as lijsttrekker and anti-racism activist Quinsy Gario was placed as the second place candidate.[21][22] The party is supported by prominent lijstduwers, such as academic Gloria Wekker and actresses Anousha Nzume and Romana Vrede.[23]


Sylvana Simons (right) at a Black Lives Matter protest in Utrecht in 2020

According to the party, its two pillars are radical equality and economic justice.[24] The party strives for the emancipation of the LGBT community, stronger anti-hate speech laws and an end to ethnic profiling, and it supports intersectionality.[25][26]

Economically the party calls for a single-payer healthcare system, the closing of the gender wage gap and replacing gross domestic product with the concept of gross national happiness as the dominant economic indicator.

Electoral results

House of Representatives

Election Lijsttrekker Votes % Seats +/– Government
2017 Sylvana Simons 28,700 0.27 (#16)
0 / 150
New Extra-parliamentary
2021 87,635 0.84 (#17)
1 / 150
Increase 1 TBD


Election Municipality Votes % Seats +/–
2018 Amsterdam 6,571 1.9 (#12)
1 / 45


  1. ^ "'Nederland heeft een lange traditie van splinterpartijen'" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS). 25 December 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  2. ^ @PolitiekBIJ1 (19 February 2021). "Tweet". Twitter (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 March 2021. Zo'n 3.000!
  3. ^ "On the fringe: The smaller parties hoping for Dutch election success". politico.eu. Politico. 17 March 2021.
  4. ^ Langelaan, Loudi (20 March 2018). "De linkse waakhond van Amsterdam (interview with Jazie Veldhuyzen)". OneWorld (in Dutch). Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  5. ^ a b Bryan Sol Miranda (14 March 2017). "The black Dutch feminist taking the fight against right-wing extremism to the ballot box". Equal Times. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Meet the anti-racist campaigner taking on the Dutch right in this week's election". euronews.com. Euro News. 17 March 2021.
  7. ^ "The Dutch Left's Collapse Shows How It Failed to Politicize the Pandemic". jacobinmag.com. Jacobin Magazine. 20 March 2021.
  8. ^ Van Dongen, Annemieke (17 March 2021). "Sylvana Simons opgelucht: felbegeerde Kamerzetel lijkt binnen bereik". Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  9. ^ Cloutier, Christopher (2021-02-21). "What can the new parties VOLT, BIJ1 and Code Oranje add?". Netherlands News Live. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  10. ^ "Sylvana Simons was eerst met naam Artikel 1". Ad.nl (in Dutch). 13 January 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  11. ^ Ger Groot (24 December 2016). "'Artikel 1' heeft een verkeerde naam". Trouw.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  12. ^ Vries, Joost de (16 January 2017). "Simons presenteert twintig kandidaten Artikel 1 - Politiek - Voor nieuws, achtergronden en columns". Volkskrant.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  13. ^ Mike Corder (3 March 2017). "TV commentator makes equality an issue in Dutch elections". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Sylvana Simons sluit zich aan bij partij DENK". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). 18 May 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Verklaring namens het Partijbestuur van de PvdA | PvdA" (in Dutch). 15 March 2016. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Sylvana Simons weg bij Denk, begint nieuwe partij". nos.nl (in Dutch). 24 December 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  17. ^ van Ast, Maarten (7 June 2017). "Sylvana 'teleurgesteld' over verplichte naamswijziging Artikel 1". Algemeen Dagblad. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Artikel1 is er uit: 'Vanaf nu heten wij BIJ1'". www.at5.nl (in Dutch). 29 October 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  19. ^ Stoffelen, Anneke (11 January 2018). "Cailin Kuit trekt zich terug als kandidaat van Bij1, de partij van Sylvana Simons". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  20. ^ ANP (25 January 2020). "BIJ1 doet nieuwe poging voor Kamerzetel". Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  21. ^ "Sylvana Simons stapt uit raad Amsterdam, richt zich op Tweede Kamerverkiezingen". nos.nl (in Dutch). 31 October 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  22. ^ Koops, Ruben (4 September 2020). "Quinsy Gario wil Tweede Kamer in namens Bij1". Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Kandidaten BIJ1. Een historische lijst". www.bij1.org (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  24. ^ "About BIJ1". www.bij1.org. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  25. ^ Clarice Gargard (16 November 2018). "'Ik ben wel echt een arrogante betweter'". NRC Handelsblad. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  26. ^ Sophia Seawell (1 January 2021). "Meet the Black feminist politician shaking up Dutch politics". openDemocracy. Retrieved 22 March 2021.

External links

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