Riots over the new curfew measures broke out across the Netherlands this weekend. Riot police and military police had to be deployed in some places as violence escalated dramatically.
The Medisch Spectrum Twente (MST), a hospital in Enschede, was attacked yesterday evening, reports NOS. Rioters tried to smash windows and additional security was brought out to protect hospital workers changing shifts. Police eventually sent the rioters away from the hospital. A spokesperson confirmed that little damage had been done to the hospital.
The attack on the hospital came after a demonstration held in the Oude Markt, where protestors expressed their disapproval of the new coronavirus measures. Fireworks were set off and at first police did not intervene. But as demonstrators became violent, riot police were deployed.
Violence across the Netherlands
Riots were seen in The Hague, Tilburg, Venlo, Helmond, Breda, Arnhem, Apeldoorn, Eindhoven and more. Piles of bicycles, bus stops and cars were set aflame, and rioters threw stones at police and buildings.
In Urk, a GGD testing facility was burnt down and reporters were attacked with pepper spray by rioters. An emergency warrant was issued for the village, and extra police will be patrolling the streets from tonight.
— Pierre Crom (@PierreCrom) January 24, 2021
Chairman Hubert Bruls of the Security Council called it “terrible”, and says “this is not a demonstration, I would call this corona hooligans.”
Banned demonstrations were held in Eindhoven where rioters burnt cars and looted shops in the central station. Police arrested 55 people and had to use water cannons to push rioters back. Mayor Jorritsma told reporters, “My city is crying” and that they were on their way to a civil war.
— anna holligan 🎙 (@annaholligan) January 24, 2021
In Roermond, Limburg, rioters destroyed a shopping centre and a policeman suffered minor injuries from people throwing stones.
In The Hague, young people set fire to a scooter in the middle of traffic in the Schilderswijk, which caused a small explosion. Police hurried to direct traffic away from the fire.
While most cities were quiet again around 9 PM, riots in Tilburg went on past midnight. Traffic lights were pulled from the ground and fireworks went off around the city.
By the end of the night, a total of 240 people had been arrested across the nation, mostly in Amsterdam, where the demonstrations had been banned.
More police presence
A spokesperson for the police has made it clear that they will be enforcing the curfew regardless of the resistance it faces. “The police will remain visibly present in the various centres and neighbourhoods. We are intensively enforcing violations surrounding the curfew.”
What do you think of the riots that took place this weekend? Tell us in the comments below.