Covid protests continue to rock 1st country in Western Europe to reimpose partial lockdown

Protests against renewed Covid-19 restrictions turned violent in The Hague. The unrest comes a day after several demonstrators in another Dutch city, Rotterdam, were injured amid police gunfire.

Seven people were arrested after fierce clashes broke out between law enforcement and anti-lockdown demonstrators in the Hague, the seat of The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Saturday.

A video shared on social media shows protesters lighting firecrackers that spark multiple fires, causing the skies in the city to glow an eerie red.

In another clip, a group of protesters are seen knocking down a traffic pole, fitted with a surveillance camera.

Dutch police reported that five of its officers were injured in the showdown with the rioters. One officer was taken to hospital with a knee injury and a concussion. Two others “suffered hearing damage,” while another two suffered injuries to their hands.

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A burned electric scooter is seen after an anti-lockdown protest in Rotterdam, Netherlands, November 19, 2021 © AFP / Jeffrey Groeneweg
Lockdown protest described as ‘orgy of violence’

The chaotic scenes in the Netherlands’ third-largest city unfolded a day after a protest against reimposed Covid-19 restrictions in Rotterdam was marred by violence. Over fifty people were arrested in Rotterdam and three were injured after police opened fire in a bid to quell the unrest. Police later claimed that the officers were “compelled to shoot at targets” to protect themselves. The three injured protesters remain in hospital, and their condition is unknown.

Protests have swept through a number of Dutch cities after the Netherlands became the first country in Western Europe since summer to go into a partial lockdown last week. Tensions soared further after the government banned New Year’s Eve fireworks displays and the Dutch parliament backed the introduction of the so-called 2G system, which would bar unvaccinated and those who have not recently recovered from the virus from a long list of public places if introduced.

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