“Stop blocking”. (“Stop Containment”). Several cities in the Netherlands were the scene of riots on Monday night, for the second night in a row, after the imposition. a curfew due to the spread of British variant of the coronavirus in the country.
The clashes pitted riot police against groups of protesters in Amsterdam as much as Rotterdam, where shop windows were smashed and merchandise looted. Amersfoort (east), the small town of Geleen (south), near Maastricht, The Hague and Den Bosch were also rocked by violence.
Images on social media showed rioters looting a shop in Den Bosch and a press photographer hit on the back of the head in Haarlem. In the port city of Rotterdam, police used a water cannon after a clash with protesters, NOS television reported. Its mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, issued a decree authorizing the police to increase arrests.
The “worst riots in forty years”
For Prime Minister Mark Rutte, this “criminal” violence, which the country faces since Sunday, they are the “worst riots in forty years.” The Netherlands began its first curfew since World War II on Saturday. It is forbidden to leave the house between 9:00 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., at least until February 9. Any offender incurs a fine of 95 euros.
“It has nothing to do with the fight for freedom”, added the Prime Minister. “We are not taking all these measures for fun. We do it because we are fighting the virus and it is for the moment the virus that takes away our freedom,” added the Prime Minister, judging that “99%” of the Dutch support the restrictions.
On Monday night, the mayors of several cities in the country announced that they would establish emergency measures to try to prevent further disturbances. Police arrested 250 people on Sunday during protests in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and other cities. Shops had been looted, cars had been burned or a Covid-19 testing center had caught fire.