143 arrested following illegal anti-coronavirus protest in Amsterdam

143 arrested following illegal anti-coronavirus protest in Amsterdam

143 people were arrested following an illegal protest that took place in Amsterdam on January 17. The demonstrators were protesting, among other things, coronavirus measures and the Prime Minister Mark Rutte cabinet, arguing that the freedom of the people of the Netherlands was at risk.

2000 people attend anti-coronavirus protest in Amsterdam

The protest was initially organised by Nederland in Verzet (“The Netherlands in Resistance”), who had been granted a permit to hold a protest for a maximum of 500 people in Westerpark in Amsterdam. The organiser, Michel Reijinga, refused to use the space, saying he could not guarantee the safety of those in attendance if the event was to take place in Westerpark, and so the municipality stated the event was cancelled and called on people who had planned on attending to stay at home. 

But those who had hoped to attend the protest were determined to find a way to have their voices be heard. They took to social media, discussing ways they could meet. And, on Sunday afternoon, around 2.000 people came together on Museumplein to question the existence / severity of COVID-19, and protest coronavirus measures, the vaccine and acting Prime Minister Mark Rutte. 

143 arrests, 15 suspected of open violence

The municipality issued an emergency order and asked everyone who had come to demonstrate to return home. The order was ignored, and at around 2pm it was announced that the Dutch police would intervene and take steps to de-escalate the situation. Using horses and water cannons, the riot police forced the protestors off Museumplein and onto the surrounding streets. 

Some protestors took to throwing bricks at officers, and some were said to have knives or fireworks on their person, while others were seen wearing boxing gloves. According to the municipality of Amsterdam, between 200 and 250 people in attendance were “clearly looking for a confrontation.” 143 arrests were made; 15 were arrested for violence and remain in custody, the rest were arrested for failing to follow police orders.

 Via: De Telegraaf.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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