AMSTERDAM – Thousands of people in the Netherlands ignored the ban on gatherings on Sunday and demonstrated against the Dutch government’s coronavirus lockdown measures. They gathered in a central square and marched to a park in Amsterdam.
A small group of demonstrators clashed briefly with the riot police as the police tried to clear the crowd from the Museum Square on the order of the mayor of Amsterdam Femke Halsema. The reporter saw at the scene that at least one person was detained.
The local government declared the protests illegal, saying that the police had signs that some demonstrators might be planning to participate in “preparing for violence.” The municipality then issued an emergency order requiring people to leave the square, and riot police cleared the area through the grass and sent the demonstrators to nearby streets.
Before the police moved in, some participants unfolded a banner near the Van Gogh Museum with the words “Suppress less, care more”. A group of people in white overalls and white masks held signs, one of which read: “This is not about viruses, but about control” and “freedom.” A person passed through the crowd holding the “Trump 2024” banner.
There are a large number of police officers in the square and nearby streets. The city government designated the area as a security risk area and gave the police the power to preventive body searches.
After marching through the city, the demonstrators began to gather in a park west of Amsterdam to participate in the populist Democratic Party forum rally.
The demonstration took place on the same day, and the Dutch police stated that they would take action to protest the increasing work requirements. The union representative stated that if necessary, the riot police will continue to work.
For several weeks, the coronavirus infection rate in the Netherlands has been declining gradually. The Netherlands re-implemented lockdown measures in November and further tightened it during the holidays.
Although omicron mutations have become the main variant in the United States, the 7-day rolling average of new cases in the past week is slightly lower than 85.55 new cases per 100,000 people.
During the lockdown, all non-essential shops, bars, restaurants and museums, theaters and cinemas are closed.
In November, a coronavirus demonstration broke out into a violent riot in Rotterdam. The demonstration in the Museum Square ended in a confrontation between the police and the protesters, who ignored the order to leave the area.
Cod is from The Hague, Netherlands.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.