Tensions in central Rotterdam during a protest against restrictive measures ordered by the Dutch government to cope with the epidemic. According to reports from the mayor of the city, 20 people were arrested and 7 were injured. Of those, two are suspected to have been hit by officers who fired warning shots.
The resumption of the partial blockade last Saturday sparked protests by hundreds of people who gathered in central Rotterdam. And many of them, shouting “freedom”, exploded bullets and threw objects at the police. At least one police car was set on fire, while others were damaged by demonstrators. Firefighters were shot as they were extinguishing the fire. Other vehicles were also set on fire.
Police intervened using a water cannon to disperse the crowd and fired warning shots, which in still unclear circumstances resulted in at least two injuries. The news was confirmed by the police. Gerrit van de Kamp, president of the union, explained that “we will have to investigate what exactly happened. We can not continue on this path. “We have been saying for some time that this is no longer possible.”
The clashes lasted several hours: part of the center was closed, as was the main train station. The municipality has issued an urgent ordinance “for the preservation of public order and the protection of the safety of the people”. The Netherlands was the first European country to restore a partial blockade after Covid infections rose to record levels. On November 12, when the government announced the coercion, demonstrators clashed with police in The Hague. In January, back in the Netherlands, when the first post-war siege came into force, a wave of unrest had erupted that had never been seen in 40 years.
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