15 people arrested during closing hour riots in Leeuwarden
Police took 15 rioters in the center of Leeuwarden into custody on Saturday evening. The riot police were also deployed at the courthouse on Zaailand to evict a large group of people who threw fireworks, among other objects.
Some people, who had to leave establishments at 8 p.m. due to coronavirus measures, ignored police orders to vacate the area. Police were able to restore order, but officers remained present to monitor the city.
When the cafes closed at 8 p.m., hundreds of singing and partying people gathered in front of the courthouse on Zaailand. They did not keep 1.5 meters distance and set off heavy fireworks.
Previously, catering entrepreneurs in Leeuwarden had indicated that they would not close their doors at 8 p.m. Yet, after a conversation between Leeuwarden Mayor Sybrand van Haersma Buma and the spokesperson of the group of business owners who threatened to stay open longer, Ton Eijer, it was decided that the cafes would close at 8 p.m. The entrepreneurs who remained open risked a fine of 10,000 euros.
Many entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector were angered that the government decided to implement an 8 p.m. closing hour. The new coronavirus restrictions will remain in place until at least December 4.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times