Climate, football, restaurant protest actions as gov't prepares for Covid press conference
One day before the Dutch government will hold a press conference to announce what the coming period will look like in terms of coronavirus restrictions, various sectors, organizations and activists were trying to make their wishes known with largely symbolic actions, NOS reports.
Early on Monday morning, young people united in Youth for Climate gathered on the Malieveld in The Hague with 1,500 signs from people who joined the protest online. They don't necessarily want restrictions to be relaxed, but want the government to re-start the economy in a sustainable way. Signs read things like: "Fuck Each Other, Not the Climate".
Drukke dag voor het Malieveld, twee demonstraties. Youth for Climate en de amateurclubs van de KNVB pic.twitter.com/OUamBGlwvO— Titia Ketelaar (@titia_k) December 7, 2020
Football association KNVB protested for measures to be relaxed around sports and exercise by placing a thousand football shirts on the Malieveld in the shape of the world 'Stil', which means quiet or unmoving in Dutch. "We hope for small steps tomorrow, because if you can play sports indoors with 30 people, you should still be able to play football on a field with 11 people. Fresh and safe in the open air," Jaap Paulsen of the KNVB said to NOS. According to him, people are dropping out of their sports clubs while they're not allowed to play with them. "While sports are good for immunity, and a solution against lack of exercise, obesity, loneliness."
The catering industry, which has been closed since mid-October for everything but takeaways, warns that more and more bankruptcies loom. Under the motto 'Black Monday', referring to the discount festival Black Friday, restaurants, cafes and bars taped closed or boarded up their establishments to show what the Netherlands will look like without them. Some who want to protest more subtly will keep the lights on tonight. The sector wants more financial support, and a "concrete perspective of reopening", "including date", hospitality association KHN said to the broadcaster.
Voor de horeca is het vandaag Black Monday. Symbolisch overhandigt @RoberWillemsen van @KHN de sleutels van veel horecazaken aan politiek Den Haag. “Het water staat bij veel ondernemers tot over de lippen.” @HartvNL pic.twitter.com/Lvmek7qMAk— Léon Mastik (@LeonHvNL) December 7, 2020
The events sector, which has faced severe restrictions for most of this year, is protesting under the motto 'The show must go on'. The sector is also asking for perspective, and for the possibility to hold "test events" in January. "With the developments in the field of rapid tests, the cabinet's fear of jumping in is incomprehensible," Jolanda Jansen of the Alliance of Event Builders said. "We want politicians to realize that events in the spring and summer of 2021 cannot go ahead if no commitments are made and no steps are taken in the short term."
Whether any of this will have an effect on the government's plans for the upcoming holiday season, remains to be seen. On Sunday, the RIVM reported 6,814 new positive Covid-19 tests, the fifth day in a row that there were more positive tests than the average over the previous seven days. The government had hoped that the measures in place would decrease the daily positive tests to around 3 thousand by now, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.
On Sunday, a large part of the government met with its outbreak advisors at Rutte's home in The Hague. Insiders told ANP that the government will very likely not relax any measures over the Christmas period.