Police union expects "days or weeks" of curfew riots
Police union NPB fears that the illegal protests, riots and other general unrest various Dutch municipalities saw over the weekend were just the start of the curfew-related unrest. "I hope it was a one-off, but I'm afraid it was a harbinger for the coming days and weeks," NPB spokesperson Koen Simmers said to Nieuwsuur.
According to Simmers, the violence in Dutch cities on Sunday was the worst in the country in 40 years. "Then you really had to think of the Squatter riots [in Amsterdam in 1980]," he said. Police officers were pelted with objects and attacked with knives, he said. That crossed every line, Simmers said.
Rioters wreaked havoc in the Eindhoven city center on Sunday afternoon, when an illegal demonstration against the coronavirus measures got out of hand. The riot police eventually used tear gas and water canons to disperse the group.
Riot police also used water canons to clear out an illegal protest on Musuemplein in Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon. A total of 190 people were arrested, and extra security was placed around mayor Femke Halsema's home.
As curfew approached on Sunday evening, there were unrest and rioting in at least 10 Dutch municipalities. Rioters committed vandalism, set fires and threw fireworks.
Simmers stressed that the coronavirus measures must be adhered to, and the police must enforce them. "I ask society - the vast majority of which adheres to it - to respect the measures. It is not for nothing. Do not attack the police, we cannot help that these rules are in place. It is not normal that you attack police officers with deadly weapons," he said to the program.