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Dutch Police Conflict With Protesters Denouncing Lockdown Measures

Hundreds of individuals, some throwing fireworks and stones, joined an unauthorized protest in opposition to the Dutch authorities’s coronavirus restrictions in Amsterdam on Sunday, and riot law enforcement officials used water cannons, batons, assault canine and horses to disperse the gang.

Round 100 had been arrested, in keeping with native media.

The protest got here two days after the resignation of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his cupboard over the way in which Dutch the tax authority has handled harmless individuals concerned in a child-benefit scandal.

The protesters gathered on a central sq. lined with landmarks, together with the Van Gogh Museum and the American Consulate, and waved placards saying “dictatorship,” “Freedom” and “We’re the Netherlands.”

Movies confirmed that nobody was carrying masks — although that’s not obligatory within the Netherlands within the open air — and nobody maintained social distance, one of many key well being measures suggested by the Dutch authorities.

Like most of Europe, the Netherlands is in a lockdown, in its case at the very least till Feb. 9. Infections are excessive however dropping barely, with about 34 coronavirus instances per 100.000 inhabitants.

These protesting in opposition to the pandemic restrictions are a comparatively small however vocal coterie of teams and people, and so they have taken goal at Mr. Rutte and his insurance policies in addition to at established media organizations. Very like the Trump loyalists who stormed america Capitol, they imagine the system must be uprooted.

“These individuals reside in their very own fact, with their very own information and personal actuality,” stated Hans Nijenhuis, editor in chief of The Algemeen Dagblad, the largest-circulation newspaper within the Netherlands. “As we’ve got seen within the States, we are able to’t simply ignore their discontent.”

An utility for Sunday’s protest by Michel Reijinga, who gathered supporters on Fb, was turned down by the authorities, who cited the prohibition of all gatherings to forestall the unfold of the coronavirus.

Regardless of this, hundreds gathered on the Museumplein sq., prompting the Amsterdam mayor, the police and the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service to ship within the riot police.

There have been a number of protests within the Netherlands through the pandemic in opposition to lockdowns and different pandemic measures, however there have additionally been others in assist of the Black Lives Matter motion.

On Sunday, some protesters spoke with frustration concerning the restrictions.

“We need to celebration and go to golf equipment, we’re so uninterested in all these measures,” a youthful girl may very well be heard saying on the livestream of a brand new Dutch broadcaster, Ongehoord Nederland.

The channel, which describes itself as offering “patriotic angles to the information,” just lately achieved the brink for having access to backed Dutch public tv by having 60.000 individuals enroll as paid members.

“Conventional media is saying these individuals are foolish and mad, however an indication corresponding to this one is an indication of broader dissatisfaction,” stated Arnold Karskens, the managing director of the channel.

Mr. Karskens, who has additionally opposed bans on Black Pete, a controversial Dutch conventional determine in blackface, stated: “The reality is individuals are uninterested in the coronavirus measures. They really feel there isn’t any finish in sight.”

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