Several people have been injured this Friday after the outbreak of disturbances between the Dutch police and hundreds of participants in a protest in the port city of Rotterdam against the restrictions applied by the Government to curb infections in the Netherlands, which has led to the police to take several shots into the air.
The total number of injuries is unclear, but Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has spoken at a press conference in at least seven injured people, and at least 20 arrests during what he has described as “an orgy of violence” in which the agents were attacked “strongly”.
According to the Rotterdam police, a demonstration convened through the networks social against restrictions and the 2G policy proposal (and not yet approved) by the government to exclude the unvaccinated from the Covid pass “has ended in riots.”
“They have provoked fires in various places, fireworks have been used and the police have fired several warning shots (in the air), “explained the police.
Riot police have also been deployed and water cannons have been used to disperse the protesters, who they shouted “freedom” while they threw objects and stones at the agents, and burned at least one police vehicle and several civilian cars parked in the center of the city.
In addition, they threw stones at the firefighters who were trying to put out the fires and they attacked a journalist, to which they destroyed the camera.
The situation is already under control
This has led the municipality to declare an “emergency order”, which prohibits the presence of people in various stations and streets in the downtown area.
Several images circulate on the social networks of a person who has allegedly been shot of the officers, but the Dutch police have stressed that “it is not yet clear how or who injured” that person, and have asked for help to identify those involved.
Police are still deployed in central Rotterdam, although the situation is “under control”, Aboutaleb said.
The national police chief, Henk van Essen, has described the images of the riots as “absurd, almost surreal” and has stressed that the safety of the agents and other emergency services is “now a priority, this is not a demonstration but an abuse,” he has sentenced.
Gerrit van de Kamp, president of the ACP police union, has also called the events “strange” and sent “great respect” to the officers deployed in Rotterdam.
At the beginning of this year, Rotterdam was also the scene of some of the more violent protests against curfew, and there were strong clashes between the police and young people who gathered for several days to provoke riots in demonstrations against the restrictions.