Rotterdam Mayor slams violent COVID-19 protests, more than 20 people arrested Reuters


© Reuters. Protesters can be seen during a demonstration against Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) measures in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on November 19, 2021. This static image is from a video provided on social media.Obtained by Reuters/via Reuters


The Hague (Reuters)-The mayor of Rotterdam on Saturday condemned the “violent carnival” of the Dutch port city against COVID-19 measures. Seven people were injured and more than 20 were arrested.

Hundreds of thugs burned cars, set in During the protests on Friday night, people set off fireworks and threw stones at the police. The police responded with warning shots and water cannons.

“The police were forced to pull out their weapons and even shoot directly,” Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said at a press conference earlier on Saturday.

He said it was “a violent carnival.” “I can’t think of another way to describe it.”

Authorities said they had arrested more than 20 people and expected to detain others because the city center where the riot occurred was extensively monitored by security cameras.

The Minister of Justice of the Netherlands Ferd Grapperhaus said in a statement that Rotterdam’s “extreme violence” against police and firefighters was “disgusting”.

“The right to protest is very important in our society, but what we saw last night was criminal behavior,” Grapperhaus said.

Protesters gathered to oppose the government’s plan to restrict people with “coronavirus passes” from entering indoor places, which shows that they have been vaccinated or have recovered from the infection.

The pass is also suitable for people who have not been vaccinated but have a negative test certificate.

Organizers of a protest against coronavirus measures in Amsterdam on Saturday said they cancelled the event after Friday’s violence.

DJs in the southern city of Breda will stage a musical protest against current COVID-19 measures, including the closure of bars, restaurants and clubs at 8pm. Organizers said they expect thousands of people to attend.

The Netherlands re-implemented some lockdown measures in the first three weeks last weekend to slow the resurgence of the coronavirus infection, but the number of daily infections remained at the highest level since the pandemic began.

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