Amsterdam Covid protest cancelled amid Rotterdam riots; Breda protest will happen: Organizers
A demonstration scheduled for Saturday afternoon against the government's coronavirus restrictions in Amsterdam was canceled. Meanwhile, preparations for a similar protest in Breda are still underway.
The demonstration will occur as Rotterdam officials are still cleaning up the city after rioters took to the streets in the center during a similar protest on Friday night. Police fired gunshots as rioters pelted them with fireworks and set vehicles ablaze. At least seven people were hurt and 20 arrested, authorities said immediately after police restored order.
The organizers of the protest in Breda expected thousands of people to attend the Saturday afternoon demonstration. They will meet at the Chasséveld around 1 p.m. and then march through the city center.
"We are completely done with this Cabinet," Joost Eras, who organized the Breda protest together with three other DJs, said. Eras expected at least 1,500 to 2,000 people to turn up. "But it could be up to 4,000 or 5,000 people. We have even been approached by people from Limburg who would like to participate. Since 25 pubs refused to close at 8 p.m. last Saturday, Breda is known as the naughtiest student in class."
Last week, the Cabinet announced new measures to combat the revival of infections. Pubs and restaurants have to close their doors at 8 p.m. for the time being.
The demonstration United We Stand that was supposed to take place in Amsterdam on Saturday was canceled. The organization decided not to follow through with the march after the riots in Rotterdam Friday evening. The municipality of Amsterdam confirmed that the protest would not take place. "Our protest was going to take place under the sign of World Children's day; it does not feel right to continue at this moment. The safety of demonstrators has priority," the organizers said.
Michel Reijinga, who helped plan the demonstration, said he still expects many people to take part, according to AT5.
The organization urged people who planned to attend the march from the Dam to Westerpark not to show up.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.