Rotterdam protest shut down early as 1.5m rule not observed

Yesterday evening, thousands of people turned out in Rotterdam to protest against racism and police brutality in the US and EU.

They gathered on Willemsplein, near the Erasmus bridge, and unfortunately were not able to keep 1.5m distance from each other, at least at the centre of the crowd. Most protestors outside the centre did keep a distance. The protest was broken up half an hour earlier than scheduled by the mayor.

According to Mayor Aboutaleb, the problem was not that there was not enough space, but that people were packed too closely around the stage. There were crosses sprayed on the ground to encourage people to keep sufficient distance.

Protestors did not keep enough distance

The mayor also first asked the organisers to encourage the protestors to keep a distance, which the organisers did do. However, the protestors did not split up enough, so Aboutaleb decided that the best thing to do would be to call off the protest.

According to police, most protestors left quietly, but there was understandably some resistance. In some places, fences were thrown, and the mounted police also got involved. Two people were arrested: one for throwing a firework, and another for insulting a police officer.

The organisers have stated that the premature ending of the protest was the cause for the unrest. According to Aboutaleb, the early ending was not a justification for “anything”.

Did you attend the Rotterdam protest? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature Image: Melissa Zijsling/Supplied. 

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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