Siebe Thissen, the author of the book “The Boy Who Jumped From the Bridge,” about a working-class man who jumped from the bridge in 1933, said that the structure is more than a bridge to the people of Rotterdam. “It’s a monument,” he said. “It’s the identity of Rotterdam.”
When city officials tried to take the bridge down in the 1990s, since it was no longer in use, there were major protests, he said. The bridge is a reminder of the old days in Rotterdam, he said.
“I think that’s why there his so much turmoil about Jeff Bezos and his boat,” he said, before referring to accusations against Amazon. “People say, ‘Why is this guy?’ It’s a working-class town, and they all know that Jeff Bezos, of course, he exploits his workers, so people say, ‘Why should this guy be able to demolish the bridge for his boat?’”
As of Thursday, about 500 Facebook users said they would attend an event, titled “Throwing eggs at superyacht Jeff Bezos,” where they gather by the bridge to throw eggs at the boat. A person listed as the event organizer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The guide, who works for the company Tours by Locals, which connects tourists with local guides, said he did not see much of an issue with the deconstruction of the bridge so long as Rotterdam residents were not shouldering the costs.
“I suppose most Rotterdammers will enjoy the international attention, and many will come to watch,” he said. “On the other hand, it shows the unimaginable wealth that people like Bezos have created for themselves, that nothing can stand in the way for them living out their dreams and hobbies. Worlds apart from those who will be watching the ship pass through the city.”
Claire Moses contributed reporting.