Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Dutch youth riot to protest Covid curfew

Rioting Dutch youths torch Covid testing center | Joy Online - Source: DW:  

24 January 2021 - "Youths torched a Covid-19 testing center and threw fireworks at police in the central Dutch fishing village of Urk overnight into Sunday. They were protesting a nationwide curfew that went into effect on Saturday in a bid to rein in the coronavirus pandemic. The curfew runs from 9:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. local time (2030 to 0330 UTC/GMT) and will remain in place until February 9.... Exceptions to the curfew include medical emergencies, people performing essential jobs and people walking their dogs. Violators can be fined €95 ($115).

"Across the Netherlands, police said they arrested a total of 25 people and handed out 3,600 fines for violations of the curfew from Saturday into Sunday. Last Sunday, Covid lockdown sceptics clashed with riot police on horseback in a central square in Amsterdam. A total of 143 people were detained. Another protest against the new measures is planned for Sunday afternoon in the same square. Mayor Femke Halsema designated the area as a “high-risk zone” to give police the power to frisk people for weapons."

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Dutch streets relatively calm as police out in force following days of anti-lockdown riots | CBC News - Thomson Reuters:

January 26, 2021 - "With shops boarded up and riot police out in force, it was relatively calm in Dutch cities on Tuesday night after three days of violence during which around 500 people were detained. In several cities, including the capital Amsterdam, some businesses closed early and emergency ordinances were in place to give law enforcement greater powers to respond to the rioting, which was prompted by a nighttime curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus. On Tuesday when the 9 p.m. curfew went into effect, rowdy crowds of youths gathered in Amsterdam and Hilversum, but were broken up without incident. In Rotterdam, 33 people were detained for violating physical distancing regulations and vandalism.

"That was in stark contrast to Monday night, when rioting rocked cities across the country and more than 180 people were arrested for burning vehicles, stone throwing and widespread looting.... National Police chief Willem Woelders told Dutch public television[:] 'We did not need to use the riot police or other forces.' But he cautioned that one night of quiet did not mean they could let down their guard....

"The Netherlands' first curfew since the Second World War was imposed on Saturday despite weeks of falling infections, after the National Institute for Health (RIVM) expressed concern over the presence of a faster-spreading variant first found in England.

"A hospital in Rotterdam had warned visitors of patients to stay away, after reports that rioters tried to attack hospitals in various cities. A countrywide appeal issued by law enforcement authorities Tuesday called on parents to keep teenagers indoors, warning they could end up with a criminal record and forced to pay for damage to cars, shops and public property.

"In Amsterdam on Monday, groups of youths threw fireworks, broke store windows and attacked a police truck, but were broken up by a massive police presence. Ten police officers were injured in Rotterdam, where 60 people were detained overnight after widespread looting and destruction in the city centre, a police spokesperson said. Supermarkets in the port city were emptied, while rubbish bins and vehicles were set ablaze. Two photographers were hurt after being targeted by rock-throwing gangs, one in Amsterdam and another in the nearby town of Haarlem, police said.

"Coronavirus infections have been falling in recent weeks, with the number of new cases down by eight per cent over the past week.... Schools and non-essential shops across the Netherlands have been shut since mid-December. Bars and restaurants were closed two months earlier."

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