Saturday, March 2, 2024
 
 

Coronavirus curfew sparks protests across the Netherlands

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Police and protesters clashed for the third consecutive day across the Netherlands after the government imposed a nationwide 9pm to 4.30 am curfew to stem the spread of Coronavirus.

Defying coronavirus restrictions, hundreds of people gathered in several Dutch cities, including in Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Rotterdam to protest against the government’s policy, with several of them reportedly using fireworks and golf balls against the police, breaking shop windows and set burning bikes as barricades.

To clear the crowds, the police used tear gas and water cannons and more than 200 people have been detained, facing a €95 fine. A report by Deutsche Welle argued that violent clashes were sparked after a Covid-19 testing centre in the northern village of Urk was set alight on Saturday evening. 

Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte has labelled the riots as “criminal violence” and a meeting has been scheduled for Monday, during which, regional security councillors are set to discuss a response.

“What motivated these people has nothing to do with protesting,” Rutte told reporters on Monday, before adding that “It’s criminal violence and we will treat it as such.”

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