In the third continuous night of unrest in the Netherlands, the protesters defying a curfew have clashed with police officers. On Monday, the law enforcement agencies arrested as many as 180 people in several cities across the country. Reportedly, police officers in Rotterdam fired a warning shot and tear gas, following an emergency order issued by the mayor failed to disperse the demonstrators.
The protests across the Netherlands spread after the government imposed new coronavirus restrictions at the weekend. In response, Prime Minister Mark Rutte described the demonstrations as “criminal violence” and condemned the unrest. Meanwhile, Henk van Essen, the police chief, maintained that the protests had nothing to do with the practice of basic rights.
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Since the coronavirus outbreak first began, the health authorities in the Netherlands have recorded as many as 13,500 fatalities with more than one million confirmed cases of the virus. Recently, the government introduced a nighttime curfew across the country and imposed a fine for violating the restrictions.
Moreover, the local media reported several incidents of violence in cities, including Helmond, Den Bosch, Rotterdam, Alphen, and Amsterdam. Police officials in Rotterdam stated that at least ten police officers were injured in the violence and in response, the law enforcement also used water cannons. Also, the mayor issued an emergency decree giving police extra power of arrest. Plus, Amsterdam’s mayor urged the parents to keep their young ones indoors as more than 180 people across the country were arrested for defying the coronavirus restrictions.
Meanwhile, in Den Bosch, some rioters set off fireworks, broke windows, overturned the cars, and looted the shopping stores. While on the streets of The Hague, protesters lit the fires, threw stones, and fireworks as the police on a bicycle tried to remove them. Police officials across the Netherlands struggled to respond to the unrest as they were needed at many places. On the other hand, the mayors of several cities have vowed to introduce new coronavirus measures.