Dutch Treat

Slogans and placards are the standard equipment for labor protests, but last week some angry Dutch fire fighters got a little more creative. To protest a government proposal for a 3% cut in civil servants' wages, as well as in benefits for the unemployed, aged and sick, 350 off-duty members of the Amsterdam fire brigade journeyed 40 miles to The Hague, where they filled the Binnenhof, Holland's parliamentary complex, with synthetic fire-fighting foam. From the windows above, the ancient square looked as if a severe storm had buried it in 14 feet of snow.

The ersatz early-morning blizzard hid all the...

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