2 wounded after shots fired at Covid protest in Netherlands — Analysis
Rotterdam police shot at two victims after a demonstration against Covid-19 was turned violently into an armed riot. During the riot, demonstrators torched a squad vehicle and clashed with officers.
A large crowd of protesters showed up at Rotterdam’s iconic Coolsingel street on Friday evening to denounce a new round of pandemic measures, including an ongoing partial lockdown, a ban on New Year’s Eve fireworks displays, as well as fears the government will impose a ‘2G’ pass system allowing only the vaccinated and those who’ve recently recovered from the virus to enter a long list of public places.
According to Reuters, at least two people were hurt during the demonstration. A local spokesperson from the police stated that this was confirmed by Reuters. “probably” due to officers’ “warning shots”Noting this, but “direct shots were fired because the situation was life-threatening”For law enforcement.
Some clips of the protest were circulated online. One clip shows a squad car carrying police officers completely engulfed by flames, after being torched by rioters.
Also, demonstrators were seen throwing fireworks at the police officers, who responded with large amounts of tear gas that at one time blanketed most of the area.
Police at the local level saidOfficers deployed a mobile unit of riot control to Coolsingel to clear out protestors who were refusing to leave the streets. They also noted that several arrests had been made following an emergency order to close off the area.
On Friday, the Dutch government declared that it had banned fireworks. “prevent, as much as possible, extra strain on health care, law enforcement and first responders.”Although private fireworks are forbidden, officials stated that they can permit local governments to still host fireworks shows, provided their Covid-19 restrictions do not prohibit it.
The Netherlands currently has a ‘3G’ rule in place, allowing the vaccinated, the recently recovered, as well as those who test negative for the virus to enter most public spaces. But as the country remains under a partial three-week lockdown to rein in growing infections, officials are now mulling the stricter ‘2G’ scheme, prompting the intense demonstrations seen on Friday night.
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