Protest against lockdown, 5G and vaccinations forms at Parliament
With reporting by Janene Pieters.
A group of spirited protesters gathered in front of the lower house of Parliament in The Hague on Tuesday, demonstrating against the lockdown, vaccinations, and the 5G wireless network. About 200 people outside the Tweede Kamer were heard chanting "freedom now", and holding banners with slogans like "Vaccinations: Inaccurate Mess," "Stop5G," and "Stop the Lockdown."
While witnesses reported that some demonstrators were indeed keeping their distance, many others were not respecting the rule stating that people must keep 1.5 meters apart if they do not reside in the same household. The personal space rule and a ban against groups of more than two people, are part of the social distancing measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
One of those addressing the crowd, who was painted in red, white and blue face makeup, called for an immediate end to all social distancing measures, suggesting the response was unwarranted. While wearing a sign which stated, "Life happens before death: #stopfearnow", he shouted into a microphone, “The government must now wake up! There is nothing wrong! There is really nothing wrong.”
Parliamentarian Paul Smeulders watched the protest from a building in the government complex. "I understand when people are frustrated, worried and even angry about the corona-restrictions. And it is important as members of parliament to listen to these voices and opinions," he told NL Times by email.
"But for people to ignore the national corona-restrictions, as happened today, is dangerous, and not the way to address this," the GroenLinks MP said.
— Alexander Bakker (@alexanderbakker) April 28, 2020
A document posted on Twitter showed that the demonstrators' concerns include the restriction of their freedom of movement, the restriction of their social freedom, the installation of 5G masts and its effects on the human body, and "being watched by drones, facial recognition and our fellow citizens".
They are also concerned about a "censoring campaign" on YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIN "against anyone posing questions about Covid-19 and an eventual relationship with 5G". "Why can't this be discussed? Why can't we ask questions?"
"It didn't escape you that since the outbreak of the so-called killer virus Covid-19, measures have been taken which ignored our human rights," the document states. "We now know that there is much more going on than what the mainstream media and the government tell us. We see which way these measures are forcing us. We don't want a Totalitarian State (China construction)!"
— Paul Smeulders (@PaulSmeulders) April 28, 2020
Police officers broke up the "unannounced demonstration", the Hague police said on Twitter at around 1:50 p.m. "The last demonstrators are being led away from the square." No one was fined and no one was arrested, a spokesperson for the police said to NL Times.
Vodafone is activating its 5G network in over half of the Netherlands on Tuesday evening, the first Dutch provider to do so. Over the past month, 22 transmission masts in the Netherlands were set on fire, the most recent fire on Monday evening. The national coordinator for counterterrorism NCTV thinks the fires may be related to online conspiracy theories that the 5G network damages the immune system and left people vulnerable to the coronavirus.
There is no scientific evidence for this.