Police arrest over 170 linked to weekend riots; King meets with first responders
The police arrested a total of 173 people in connection with riots over the weekend. Caretaker Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus (Justice) wrote that "many arrests" will follow in a letter to parliament. According to Grapperhaus, swift justice is being used, and the damages will be recovered from the perpetrators.
Riots broke out in various parts of the country over the weekend, with rioters throwing fireworks and rocks at first responders. In Rotterdam, the police shot at some rioters on Friday evening after a demonstration against the coronavirus measures had gotten out of hand. Four people suffered bullet wounds. According to Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, none of them sustained life-threatening injuries.
On Saturday and Sunday, there were riots in The Hague, Katwijk, Bunschoten, and Urk, among others. According to Grapperhaus, these disturbances are "apparently" the result of "highly organized violence" and probably have nothing to do with social or political discontent. Minors also participated in these organized riots. "You do not demonstrate by force. This has nothing to do with demonstration."
Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke out against the riots on Monday. "This is pure violence under the guise of demonstrating."
King Willem-Alexander visited Rotterdam on Monday and talked with police officers, firefighters, and paramedics deployed on Friday. At the meeting in the town hall, the King expressed his thanks to the first responders "on behalf of 90 percent of Netherlands residents that think this is unacceptable."
De Koning bezoekt het stadhuis van @Rotterdam en gaat in gesprek met politie, hulpdiensten, stadsbeheer & ondernemers over hun ervaringen rond de ongeregeldheden die afgelopen weekend o.a. in Rotterdam ontstonden na demonstraties tegen de coronamaatregelen https://t.co/1QW3UJjaTk pic.twitter.com/M2QnyMTbEx— Koninklijk Huis (@koninklijkhuis) November 22, 2021
Reporting by ANP and NL Times