Five police officers were injured in the Netherlands and at least 28 people were detained in three provinces, while violent protests against Covid-19’s restrictions continued for a second night into Sunday morning (21).
Dutch authorities used water cannons, dogs and police were called to stop protesters who set fires and threw fireworks at the worst protests since a lockdown led to widespread disorder with more than 500 arrests in January.
The latest demonstrations began on Friday night in Rotterdam, where police opened fire on a crowd during a protest that the city’s mayor said turned into “an orgy of violence”.
Three people allegedly hit by police bullets remained in hospital on Sunday (21), a statement from authorities said.
The protests were sparked by opposition to the government’s plans to restrict the use of a “vaccine voucher” to people who have recovered from Covid-19 or been immunized, excluding those with a negative test result.
The Netherlands imposed some blocking measures on its population of 17.5 million last weekend for an initial three weeks in an effort to delay the virus’s resurgence. Daily infections, however, remained in their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.
Young people were also angered by the ban on fireworks on New Year’s Eve to avoid additional pressure on hospitals that have already been forced to scale back due to the increase in Covid-19 patients.
arrests of protesters
Some of the most serious clashes on Saturday night (20) took place in the municipality of The Hague, where five police officers were injured, one seriously, a police statement said.
Police carried out actions on horseback and arrested seven people, one of them for throwing a stone into the windshield of a passing ambulance.
Another 13 arrests were reported by police in two cities in the southern province of Limburg, while disturbances were also reported in the northern province of Flevoland.
Eight people were detained in the city of Urk, where a Covid-19 test station burned down earlier this year.
Reference: CNN Brasil
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