No more than 80 allowed at Rotterdam anti-racism protest tomorrow: Mayor

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam will allow a demonstration against racism to happen on Schouwburgplein on Wednesday, but the number of participants will be limited to no more than 80. The square is not suitable for more than 80 demonstrators while adhering to social distancing measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, he said to Radio Rijnmond on Tuesday.

A Black Lives Matter protest in Amsterdam on Monday attracted some 5 thousand participants, while the organizers expected only around 300. "They expect 150 in Rotterdam. And that is already too many," Aboutaleb said. "More than 80 is simply not possible. I am going to let the organization know in advance. If more people come, the square can not accommodate it."

The mayor called on protesters to find more creative ways to demonstrate that also take the measures against the coronavirus into account. "Look at Italy," he said to the station. "There were actions held by people who made noise from balconies. Choose a creative way. Or form a ribbon along the waterfront. Along the Boompjes, for example. That way you can also make a statement and still keep 1.5 meters apart."

Rotterdam's protest will be the third demonstration against racism and police brutality, and to show solidarity with people protesting in the United States after the death in custody of George Floyd last week. A demonstration is planned in The Hague on Tuesday evening. 

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