From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Provo was a Dutch counterculture movement in the mid-1960s that focused on provoking violent responses from authorities using non-violent bait. It was preceded by the nozem movement and followed by the hippie movement. Unlike these two movements, Provo was actually founded, on May 25, 1965, by Robert Jasper Grootveld, an anti-smoking activist, and Roel van Duyn and Rob Stolk, both anarchists. Provo was officially disbanded on May 13, 1967.
Its political component won a seat on the city council of Amsterdam, and developed the "White Plans", of which the most famous was the White bicycle plan, which entailed placing white bicycles throughout Amsterdam that could be used for free transportation.
Harry Mulisch wrote a short novel, De Rattenkoning (The Rat King), about the riots following the Telegraaf's toeing of the establishment's party line after the death of a labourer in a protest. Provo was prominently involved in the protests against the Telegraaf. Mulisch wrote about both actors, highlighting the differences: "While their parents, seated on refrigerators and washing machines, watched TV with their left eyes, and their cars with their right eyes, a mixer in one hand and the Telegraaf in the other, the kids left Saturday evening for the Spui square." ("Terwijl hun ouders op ijskasten en wasmachines gezeten met hun linker oog naar de teevee keken en met hun rechter naar de auto voor de deur, een mixer in hun ene hand, De Telegraaf in de andere, begaven de kinderen zich 's zaterdagsavond naar het Spui.")
Provo was succeeded by the Kabouters.