Protests against Covid measures held in various Dutch cities
Demonstrations against the coronavirus measures were held in multiple cities on Wednesday evening. The participants marched through the streets of Utrecht, Sittard, Maastricht, Sneek, and Roermond, carrying lights like torches and lanterns and demanding that shops and restaurants be reopened, among other things.
The largest protest against the coronavirus measures was in Sittard. The demonstrators walked through the city center with candles, lanterns, and burning cellphone lights. The march ended on the Markt, where a music party was held, including carnival music. According to the organizers, between 1,300 and 2,000 people had gathered on and around the Markt.
According to spokespersons for the organizers, the action is an advance on the announced openings of shops and catering establishments in Sittard and Geleen this coming weekend. "If it appears during the press conference on Friday that the shops and cafes are still not allowed to open, we will go further next Wednesday. Then the participation will be much larger than tonight," said one of the organizers. In that case, according to the organizers, the Markt will be too small, and they will also expand the event to other squares.
No one at the Limburg police could be reached for comment on Wednesday evening.
In Utrecht, the demonstration turned into a minor clash between participants of the announced protest against the coronavirus measures and counter-protesters. The police intervened, and calm soon returned.
Over 150 people took part in a candlelight procession in Maastricht on Wednesday evening. They also demonstrated against the coronavirus measures. Like in Sittard, they demanded the opening of shops and the catering sector. Demonstrators armed with lights marched through the city from Vrijthof, returning to the square where they started an hour later.
Also, in Roermond, over a hundred people walked in a long procession from the Nassaustraat in Het Veld district. Some of them were dressed in carnival fashion. They want the Cabinet to end the closure of shops and restaurants.
The demonstrations in most other cities were peaceful. Dozens of people gathered in Arnhem, Sneek, and Deventer, among others.
Reporting by ANP