Krista van Velzen
Krista van Velzen was born in St. Nicolaasga in Friesland. While in secondary school, she worked as a volunteer at the IVN (Instituut voor Natuurbeschermingseducatie - Institute for Conservation Education). After pre-university education at Newmancollege in Breda and a preparatory course for higher education in forestry and natural resources management, she decided to work—again as a volunteer—with Stichting Kollektief Rampenplan, an organic-vegetarian catering collective that supports actions and events throughout Europe by cooking for activists.
In 1995 she organised a hike from Brussels to Moscow on behalf of a nuclear-free world. In subsequent years, she was active in the 10 years after Chernobyl campaign and with the campaign by Czech environmentalists against the construction of the Temelín Nuclear Power Station. She also worked in Ghent, in Belgium, with the pressure group Voor Moeder Aarde (For Mother Earth; later merged into Friends of the Earth Flanders) in various campaigns concerning nuclear weapons, nuclear power and nonviolence.
Van Velzen was involved in direct action for disarmament at Faslane Naval Base in Scotland, where she was arrested after going aboard a nuclear submarine with a hammer to 'dismantle' it. In January 2007, she was arrested again, this time with six British parliamentarians, during a year-long blockade action at the base. As a result of her activities she has a criminal record.
During the Kosovo War, she organised a walk from the International Criminal Court in The Hague to NATO headquarters in Brussels. In 1999 she also founded the Ghent Ecological Centre. In the summer of the same year she began work as an employee with the Socialist Party group in the House of Representatives, where she was concerned with defence, agriculture and food safety. As part of her work, she was also a member of the working group on genetic engineering and co-wrote the party brochure Wat moeten we met de genetische technologie (What should we do about gene technology).
Election to the House of Representatives
In the elections of May 2002, she was elected to the House of Representative for the Socialist Party. On 25 June 2002 she made her maiden speech on the employment of 17-year-olds in the armed forces. In the 2006 parliamentary elections she was fifth on the party list and was re-elected with more than 14,000 preference votes. Van Velzen sits on the Recommendation Committee of the Nederlands Sociaal Forum (Netherlands Social Forum, an organisation of Dutch NGOs and alter-globalist groups).
Her retirement pay was terminated after the TV programme PowNews revealed that she was staying abroad for a prolonged period and thus could apply elsewhere. A Socialist Party representative said, "It has not been Krista's intent to go cycling at the taxpayer's expense".
- "SP-Kamerlid gearresteerd in Schotland", NU.nl, 8 January 2007 (Dutch)
- Faslane 365
- "Defensie treitert ex-werknemer", Blik op Nieuws, 28 September 2005, archived at the Internet Archive, 23 November 2005 (Dutch)
- "Tweede Kamer worstelt opnieuw met Spijkers", de Stentor, 7 March 2008, updated 10 March 2008, archived at the Internet Archive, 10 March 2008 (Dutch)
- "Defensie vindt zaak-Spijkers 'afgehandeld'", Binnenlands Bestuur, 17 July 2009 (Dutch)
- Handelingen 2001–2002, No. 86, p. 5098 (Dutch)
- "Het is niet de bedoeling geweest van Krista om op kosten van de belastingbetaler te gaan fietsen": "'Van Velzen (SP) wachtgeld kwijt'", De Telegraaf, 11 October 2010 (Dutch)
- 150 Volksvertegenwoordigers (Dutch) (profile no longer online)
- "Doopsgezind en politiek gaan samen", Kerknieuws, 8 June 2010 (Dutch)
- "Poten af van tinky winky?!" Krista van Velzen.sp (official blog) 29 May 2007 (Dutch)
- "Kamermeerderheid wil meer homorechten" coc.nl, 14 November 2006 (Dutch)