Anti-lockdown Covid-19 protests erupt into violence in the Netherlands

Anti-lockdown Covid-19 protests erupt into violence in the Netherlands

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

Anti-lockdown measures to the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis in the Netherlands erupted into violence. Thus protesters and the police clashed in several parts of the country including Amsterdam, Eindhoven, and Rotterdam.

The Netherlands, unlike the United Kingdom, took a lighter coronavirus approach. Hence, measures were much less draconian until recent months. However, the continuous flow of deaths and new coronavirus variants – and other factors – meant more stringent measures by the government of the Netherlands.

Associated Press reports, “Rioters set fires in the center of the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven and pelted police with rocks Sunday at a banned demonstration against coronavirus lockdown measures, while officers responded with tear gas and water cannons, arresting at least 55 people.”

In one poignant anti-lockdown protest people set fire to a coronavirus testing facility. This happened in the village of Urk. Hence, a facility designed to protect people was targeted for being deemed evasive and oppressive in the minds of the protesters.

The BBC reports, “The Dutch government has introduced its toughest measures since the start of the pandemic – including a night-time curfew which runs from 21:00 (20:00 GMT) to 04:30. It is the first in the Netherlands since World War Two.”

Prime Minister Mark Rutte uttered, “What motivated these people has nothing to do with protesting, it’s criminal violence and we will treat it as such.”

The situation remains tense in several parts of the Netherlands. Hence, stronger measures by the central government to counter the spread of the coronavirus is leading to frustration for a minority of individuals. Therefore, the built-up frustration and stronger government measures erupted into violence throughout several parts of the Netherlands.


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