Amsterdam mayor Halsema wants independent investigation into Dam Square protest

Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema has called for an independent investigation into the anti-racism protest on the Dam last week.

On June 1, between 5,000 and 14,000 people gathered on Dam Square in Amsterdam, to protest against racism and police brutality in the US and EU. It was followed by lots of other protests across the country, in The Hague, Breda, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Rotterdam, to name just a few.

The Dam Square protest was widely criticised because protestors were not able to keep 1.5m from each other, particularly towards the centre of the crowd. The vast majority wore face masks. Mayor Halsema has come under fire for allowing the protest to continue. Some further protests were able to maintain the distance; in Rotterdam this was not the case, and the protest was shut down half an hour early.

No connected infections yet

Now, Mayor Halsema wants an investigation to take place into how many people were on the Dam and what the consequences of the protest will be for infection rates. As of yet, no one who went to the protest has tested positive for coronavirus, but the incubation time for the virus is 14 days. That means we still have a while to go before we can assuredly say that the protest had no impact on infection rates.

Such an investigation will be challenging to carry out. The GGD cannot tell who attended the demonstration; that’s something protestors themselves will need to be open about. “Someone could also be tested in a different region. It may then take longer before that information is also known to GGD Amsterdam,” writes the Amsterdam College of Mayors and Aldermen. Nonetheless, the municipality thinks that the risk of infection to most protestors is low.

Did you go to any of the protests last week? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: Jos van Zetten/Wikimedia Commons

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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