Dutch Police Blast Anti-Lockdown Protestors With Water Cannon, Charge Them on Horseback and Attack Them With Dogs
Banned the protest in advance because it was going to draw too many people
A few thousand people gather yesterday in #Amsterdam in the #Netherlands despite the ban by authorities to protest against health restrictions. The police have just called for dispersal. pic.twitter.com/wpxQOLUekj
— European Union Club (@EuropeanUnionC) January 18, 2021
— RadioSavana (@RadioSavana) January 18, 2021
Vandaag naar de #demonstratie op het #Museumplein in #Amsterdam geweest. Zelf nog nooit een demonstratie gezien dat zo uit de hand liep als hier. De beelden spreken voor zich. pic.twitter.com/jP6CHiXzTV
— Sebastiaan Barel (@fotograafLdmVbg) January 17, 2021
Police on horseback also moved in to break up the demonstration on a large square ringed by museums, including the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam municipality said riot police took action to disperse the crowd because people weren’t adhering to social distancing measures.
Few of the protestors wore masks, which are not mandatory, and most did not respect social distancing rules.
The municipality said: ‘Because of the danger to public health, it is important that everybody sticks to the measures in force. The demonstrators are not doing that.’
By mid-afternoon, the square was empty apart from dozens of police, although some protesters remained in streets nearby.
The demonstration had been banned earlier in the week because of fears that too many people would attend and not stick to social distancing.
The protest in Amsterdam happened as ministers in the Netherlands’ caretaker government were meeting in The Hague to discuss options to rein in the spread of the coronavirus, including the possibility of imposing a curfew for the first time since the pandemic began.
The government resigned Friday following publication of a damning report into a scandal involving thousands of parents being falsely labeled fraudsters by tax officials, but the ministers are remaining in power until a new coalition is formed following a March 17 general election.
The government closed schools and most shops in December to try to stem a surge in Covid-19 cases and this week extended the lockdown by at least three more weeks.
Source: Associated Press
Banned Amsterdam protests attracts 2000: police arrest 143, use water cannons and dogs
Amsterdam police have arrested 143 protesters during an illegal demonstration in Museumplein in the city centre.
Authorities estimate around 2,000 people flocked to the event to protest against the current coronavirus measures, Prime Minister Mark Rutte (who resigned his cabinet on Friday), the media, and vaccines.
The Amsterdam municipality did not approve the Museumplein location for the event, which was organized by ‘Nederland in Verzet’ (translation: Netherlands in Resistance). The Westerpark was offered as an alternative location with a cap of 500 people, but was declined by event organizers.
Demonstrators showed up to the original Museumplein location anyway, ignoring repeated warnings by police officers on location. The protesters also refused to practice coronavirus measures, such as keeping 1.5 metres distance from each other or wearing a face mask.
Police and protesters clash
In response, an emergency warrant was issued to break up the event. Police deployed water cannons and dogs.
Protesters fought back by throwing fireworks and stones. Some carried melee weapons or wore fighting gloves. The municipality says that about 200 to 250 people were “clearly out for the confrontation.”
“We are the Netherlands,” the demonstrators chanted, emphasizing that they had come to protest “out of love.”
Of the 143 protesters arrested, 15 remain in jail facing charges of open violence. The remainder were arrested for failure to follow a police order and will likely be fined.
Source: Dutch Review