Dutch coronavirus demonstrators hold fresh rallies protesting curbs

Nov 21, 2021: 

A day after 51 people were arrested in Rotterdam in an “orgy of violence”, Dutch Corona virus protesters staged fresh rallies on Saturday, leaving two people hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

The Netherlands returned to the first partial winter lockdown last Saturday with a three-week of curbs, and now plans to ban non-vaccinated people from entering certain areas. Hundreds of protesters marched on the latest rally in Amsterdam on Saturday, and a similar number marched from the southern city of Breda. It happened after the Rotterdam riots, where police said they fired warning shots and water cannons.

“Fifty-one people were arrested during the major disturbances on Friday evening and night on Coolsingel (street) in Rotterdam . About half of them were just underage,” Rotterdam police said in a tweet.

“Two rioters were injured when they were hit by a bullet. They are still in the hospital,” the police said, adding that the Dutch national criminal investigation department would probe “whether the injuries were caused by police bullets”.

A policeman was also taken to hospital with leg injuries while several other officers were hurt or suffered hearing damage because of large fireworks set off by the rioters, police said.

Despite the violence the day before, on Saturday about 300 protesters marched from the southern town of Breda, near the Belgian border, holding banners with slogans such as “No lockdown”. Organizers say they oppose Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s plan not to allow unvaccinated people in to bars and restaurants. A group that announced the protest in Amsterdam on Saturday, United V Stand Europe, said on Facebook that it had canceled the rally because “last night, all hell broke out in Rotterdam”.

But several hundred flag-waving protesters still gathered in central Dam Square, watched over by police vans, according to Dutch media and images on social media.

The Dutch government condemned the violence in Rotterdam.

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