Faced with tackling the current rise in COVID-19 infections in the Netherlands, the government had to implement (and is currently planning on implementing) new restrictions.
These restrictions, though, are not particularly popular amongst individuals who believe these restrictions cross a line in terms of personal liberties. One example which the rioters have protested against is the “2G” option, which would ban people who have not received a full COVID-19 vaccination from certain places. The frustration stemming from these restrictions has manifested in the form of riots over the course of last week mainly in The Hague, and Rotterdam.
In The Hague, the protesters have gone as far as shooting fireworks at police officers and injuring five of them, as claimed by The Hague’s police by Twitter. Altogether, seven rioters have allegedly been arrested. But the scale of the protests in The Hague is relatively small when compared to the events which have occurred in Rotterdam.
51 protesters, half of whom according to the police were minors, have been arrested in Rotterdam during what Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb called an “orgy of violence”, whereby vehicles were also set on fire. Many officers as well as rioters were injured during the demonstration. Warning shots were fired, but Aboutaleb also claimed that the police had presumably fired shots at the protesters directly, although he has not elaborated on the details of the injuries the victims have suffered. The nature of the riots has upset many within the Dutch national government, as Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said that: “the riots and extreme violence against police officers, riot police and firefighters last night in Rotterdam are disgusting to see.”
Although the riots have shocked many, the government is still on its track to implementing new restrictions soon.
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Images from Unsplash – only illustration
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