Public/Global Health

Thousands protest in Netherlands against virus measures despite ban on demonstrations

Thousands of Dutch protesters took to the streets of Amsterdam on Sunday in defiance of the government’s COVID-19 lockdown measures and despite a ban on demonstrations, The Associated Press reported

A small group of demonstrators clashed with police as officers tries to clear crowds in the Museum Square area under orders from Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema. 

The city government had prohibited protests, saying police believed protesters might be “prepared for violence.” 

As authorities moved in Sunday, protesters were seen unfurling a banner that read “Less repression, more care” near the city’s Van Gogh Museum, the AP reported. 

Reporters at the scene said at least one person was detained by authorities.

A group of protesters wearing white overalls and white masks also held up signs that read “It’s not about a virus, it’s about control” on one side and “Freedom” on the other side, per the AP. 

The populist Forum for Democracy party also hosted a rally in the western part of the city.

Coronavirus infections have been steadily decreasing in the country since authorities re-implemented lockdown measures in November and tightened them again during the holiday season. 

Under the lockdown, all non-essential shops in the country will remain closed along with bars, restaurants, and venues such as museums, theaters, and cinemas, The AP reported. 

Most of the world is currently dealing with a surge of COVID-19 infections spurred by the omicron variant.

Tags Amsterdam covid-19 restrictions Netherlands
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