No more protests on A'dam Dam Square; BLM protest in Arnhem today
The municipality of Amsterdam will allow no more demonstrations on Dam Square for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, mayor Femke Halsema said. A Black Lives Matter protest will be held in Arnhem on Thursday. Mayor Ahmed Marcouch said a maximum of 500 people can participate and everyone must wear face masks.
Halsema announced the decision to ban demonstrations on Dam Square in a letter to the organizers of a demonstration for taking in child asylum seekers from refugee camps in Greece. The group wanted to demonstrate on Dam Square, but will have to settle for the Museumplein instead, NOS reports.
Amsterdam decided to no longer allow demonstrations on Dam Square following a protest against racist police brutality on Monday, which saw some 5 thousand protesters crowd the square, making social distancing impossible. The decision was made by the Amsterdam 'triangle' of mayor, police and prosecutor.
"The triangle considers demonstrations on Dam Square as undesirable at the moment," Halsema said, adding that this decision was "not taken lightly" given the symbolic meaning of the "most famous square in the Netherlands". But the risk that a demonstration on Dam Square will grow rapidly is too high, because of passersby deciding to join spontaneously. In addition the police have "recently proved to be insufficiently able" to estimate the expected number of demonstrators, she said.