Demonstrations in Europe against lockdowns are marred by violence

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Protests in European countries against Covid-19’s new restrictions turned violent this weekend as cases of the disease continue to grow across the continent.

Riots broke out in the city of The Hague this Saturday (20) because of new measures against the coronavirus adopted by the Dutch government. Images taken at the scene show riot police launching water cannons and attacking groups of protesters.

The Netherlands reintroduced a three-week partial lockdown starting last Saturday, and now plans to ban unvaccinated people from entering some locations.

Five police officers were injured during clashes in The Hague, one was taken to hospital with a concussion and two suffering hearing damage from fireworks, police said in a statement.

“The group of protesters started fires, committed destruction, assaulted drivers and threw rocks and fireworks at police officers,” police said, confirming that 19 people were arrested.

Authorities added that a protester threw a stone through the window of an ambulance transporting a patient to a hospital.

In the capital Amsterdam, thousands participated in a peaceful rally on Saturday. Dutch public broadcaster NOS also reported riots in the city of Urk and in cities in the southern province of Limburg.

The protests followed violent clashes on Friday night (19) in the port city of Rotterdam, during which police were forced to fire to disperse the crowd, and 51 people were arrested.

Elsewhere, some 40,000 people on Saturday filled the streets of Vienna in Austria’s biggest coronavirus-related protest to date. Police tried to contain the protest and when the “climate was about to get worse” they stopped fining those who did not wear masks, said Franz Eigner, vice president of the Vienna police, during a press conference on Sunday (21).

Some officers had “an unidentified liquid” sprayed on them and protesters were trying to blind a helicopter with a laser, Eigner said.

A small number of protesters were “extremely prone to violence”, Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said during the press conference, which he associated with the “extremist right-wing scene”.

Austria will reintroduce a national partial lockdown from this Monday (22) and make vaccinations against the coronavirus mandatory from February of next year.

More than 1,400 police were deployed across the country to maintain public order, according to a police statement. Pepper spray was used in a “hot” protest in central Vienna, the police statement added.

France sent dozens of elite police and counterterrorism officials to its Caribbean island of Guadeloupe on Saturday 21st after it reported looting and arson during the night, defying the government-imposed nightly curfew.

The island’s mayor presented the stay order on Friday after protests against the requirement for proof of vaccination turned into violence the night before. The Interior Ministry said 31 people were arrested.

About 15,000 people protested Saturday in Zagreb against the Croatian government’s measures against the coronavirus. As of this Monday, only people with Covid-19 passports can enter public and government buildings in Croatia.

* (Translated material. Read the original here).

Reference: CNN Brasil

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