At least two people have been injured by gunshot wounds and 51 have been arrested during the heavy disturbances that occurred last night in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, where a protest was called on social networks against the restrictions applied by the Government to stop the pandemic .
The Rotterdam Police explained this Saturday that at least 51 people have been arrested during the heavy riots in the center of Rotterdam, approximately half of them minors and that they had come to the city from different parts of the Netherlands. The term used by the Police to refer to the participants in the riots is “agitators” or “mutineers”, and not “protesters”.
“Two agitators were injured when they were hit by a bullet. They are still in the hospital. The National Criminal Investigation Department always investigates when the police shoot and is also investigating whether these injuries were caused by police bullets, ”he adds.
An officer has also been injured in the leg and is hospitalized, while another officer has been treated at the scene by paramedics. “Many policemen suffered minor injuries and hearing damage during the attacks with stones and fireworks,” the police reported.
He added that all those suspected of participating in the riots have not yet been identified, but that he has already received images that can help with the identifications, and has urged to share any photos or videos with investigators.
The protest against the restrictions, called this Friday night on social networks, has led to strong clashes between the participants, especially young people from all over the country, and the police officers, who have required the help of riot police to disperse the manifestation.
Groups of mutinous youths have thrown stones, objects and fireworks at the agents, burned police vehicles and neighboring cars, bicycles and public furniture, a scenario similar to the one that already occurred earlier this year during the protests against the curfew. which was then in force.
The Police recognized this Friday that they had fired warning shots to disperse the groups of rioters, although the police scientist Jaap Timmer has assured the local press this Saturday that agents rarely open fire during the riots, something that occurs “a once every ten or fifteen years ”, which is why he pointed out that the situation must have been very complicated.
The Minister of Justice and Security, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, has described the riots and violence that occurred last night in Rotterdam as “repulsive to see” and has stressed: “The demonstration is a great right of society, but what we saw last night is simply a criminal behavior that has nothing to do with protesting ”.
There were several demonstrations called this Saturday against the restrictions and the government’s plans to exclude the unvaccinated from the covid pass, but some have been canceled due to last night’s riots, especially the main protest in Amsterdam.
Despite the cancellation, hundreds of protesters have marched through the center of the capital against the restrictions, many with an umbrella or a yellow garment, although at the moment the protest is being peaceful and there have been no clashes.
Currently, the Netherlands applies what it calls “limited confinement”, which requires the interpersonal distance of 1.5 meters in public space, the use of indoor masks for public access and the covid pass in restaurants, musical and cultural events, gyms and swimming pools, among others.
However, the high number of infections is pressing the Executive to take new measures, and plans, if it obtains parliamentary support, to exclude the unvaccinated from the covid pass even if they test negative, which leaves out around 1, 8 million citizens who do not plan to get vaccinated due to skepticism towards vaccines or religious reasons, among other reasons. 82.7% of the population over 12 years of age already have the complete regimen and 86.4% have at least one dose.