2021 Dutch curfew riots

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2021 Dutch curfew riots
Part of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands
Date23 January 2021 – present (11 months, 3 weeks and 5 days)
Caused by
Parties to the civil conflict
InjuriesAt least 12 (as of 27 Jan 2021)[5][6][7]
Arrested575+ (as of 27 Jan 2021)[8][9][10][11]

The 2021 Dutch curfew riots (Dutch: avondklokrellen) are a series of ongoing riots in the Netherlands that initiated as protests against the Dutch government's COVID-19 prevention measures, and specifically against the 21:00–4:30 curfew that was introduced on 23 January 2021. The police have described the events as the "worst riots" in the country since the 1980 coronation riots.[12]

Background[edit source | edit]

The suggestion to introduce a nationwide curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had been put on the table by the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) as early as September 2020, but did not gain the support of the House of Representatives at the time, because of its strong association with World War II.[13][14]

Four months later, however, the measure was deemed necessary as the number of infections was not declining fast enough, despite the fact that the Netherlands had been in a full lockdown since 14 December 2020.[15] Furthermore, the more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant of the virus continued to spread across the country, raising concerns for a potential "third wave" of infections.[16]

Demissionary Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced his plan to introduce a 20:30–4:30 curfew at a press conference on 20 January 2021.[17] On 21 January, a majority in the House of Representatives voted to support the proposal, after a motion to postpone the curfew to 21:00 had been adopted.[18] The curfew would be in effect from 23 January to at least 10 February 2021.[19]

Non-violent protests against the government's COVID-19 prevention measures had taken place on several occasions prior to the announcement of the curfew. However, on 24 January 2021, illegal demonstrations against the curfew in Amsterdam and Eindhoven escalated into violent riots in response to police interventions.[20][21] Calls to riot were subsequently spread on social media, leading to riots in other places as well.[1]

Timeline[edit source | edit]

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23 January[edit source | edit]

In Urk, a COVID-19 testing center was set on fire.[22]

24 January[edit source | edit]

The riots on Sunday were more intense than the previous day. There were riots in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, The Hague, Tilburg, Venlo, Enschede, Helmond and Roermond. In Eindhoven, rioters set vehicles on fire and looted multiple stores in and around the city's central station. In Enschede, protesters attempted to break the windows of the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital. More than 300 people were arrested and 2,100 fines were given.

25 January[edit source | edit]

150 people were arrested during the night from 25 to 26 January in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Shops were looted and vandalized. The cities of Den Bosch, Zwolle, Amersfoort, Alkmaar, Hoorn, Gouda, Haarlem, and Veenendaal experienced troubles, including cars being burned and police attacked with stones.[23][24]

26 January[edit source | edit]

Den Bosch, Sittard-Geleen, Stein and Capelle aan den IJssel issued an emergency decree for the upcoming night. Beek and Echt-Susteren will have an emergency decree until the 10th of February, which will allow the police to do stop-and-frisk without reason.[25] Zwolle declared an emergency order, which is one step below an emergency decree in Dutch law. Dutch police designated Den Bosch, Almelo en Haarlem as potential hotspots. The Ikazia hospital in Rotterdam also advised its patients not to come during the evening hours, as police designated the nearby Zuidplein as a potential hotspot.[26]

The riots that took place on 26 January were less heavy than the previous days. Despite some small riots in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Hilversum, and some disturbances in The Hague, Schijndel and Julianadorp, the situation in these six cities and villages was under control within about an hour.[27]

On the 26th of january, many cities saw massive support coming from their locals. Cities such as Maastricht, saw its hardcore fanbase of its local football club, the angel side, gather as a reaction to the threats made by supposed rioters. A couple hundred supporters marched through the city, eventually making their way to the city center to make a statement: "we will not tolerate destruction and looting". Most of them went home around 21.00 to adhere to the curfew rules.

Reactions[edit source | edit]

The Dutch demissionary Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, told reporters that the recent events "have nothing to do with protests, this is criminal violence and we will treat it as such".[28]

The Dutch minister Hoekstra said that the riots will not make the government "capitulate to a few idiots".[29] Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said the same. "Apparently small groups find it necessary to riot. But that is not because of the corona policy, because you don't have to loot a shop for that", he said. Grapperhaus added that the police and Koninklijke Marechaussee are cracking down on the rioters. They will be subject to summary judgment and can face unconditional prison sentences.[29]

The Dutch MPs Geert Wilders and Jesse Klaver, of the Party for Freedom and GroenLinks respectively, accused each other of inciting the riots. Jesse Klaver accused Geert Wilders of inciting the people to riot, while Geert Wilders demanded Jesse Klaver to remove his party's rank and file from the Schilderswijk, a neighborhood where the riots happened.[30]

The mayor of Eindhoven said that: "If we continue down this way, we will head to civil war."[31]

A spokesperson from the Dutch armed forces said that the Dutch army has not yet been asked to help curb the riots. However, if the armed forces are asked to help "it would be limited to logistical and material support".[32]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Dutch govt says rioters 'won't get away with it' after third night of unrest". France 24. 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  2. Kras, Jeannette (26 January 2021). "De drie groepen die aan het rellen zijn: "Nu konden ze even flink losgaan"". Welingelichte Kringen (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  3. Dejong, Peter (24 January 2021). "Dutch Police Clash With Anti-Lockdown Protesters". Time. Associated Press. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  4. "Hulp voetbalfans en boeren gewaardeerd, 'maar handhaving is taak van politie'". NOS (in Dutch). 26 January 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  5. Hoekstra, Diede (25 January 2021). "Denisa kreeg een voltreffer van het waterkanon, schedelbreuk en 18 hechtingen". Eindhovens Dagblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  6. "Tien agenten in Rotterdam gewond geraakt, 184 aanhoudingen na coronarellen". NU.nl (in Dutch). 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  7. "Meisje gewond door baksteen die door raam van bus werd gegooid in Emmeloord". NOS (in Dutch). 27 January 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  8. "3600 boetes en 25 aanhoudingen in de eerste nacht van de avondklok". Het Parool (in Dutch). 24 January 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  9. "Ruim 200 aanhoudingen bij coronaprotesten Eindhoven en Amsterdam". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 24 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  10. "184 mensen aangehouden bij rellen, 1741 boetes uitgedeeld". Nederlands Dagblad. 26 January 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  11. "Politie: avond en nacht waren rustiger, 131 arrestaties". NOS (in Dutch). 27 January 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  12. Van Genechten, Sarah (26 January 2021). ""Ergste rellen in 40 jaar" in Nederland: wie zijn de relschoppers, wat drijft hen en hoe moet het nu verder?". VRT NWS (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  13. Hartog, Tobias den; Aa, Edwin van der (20 January 2021). "Hoe de avondklok tóch op tafel kwam: 'De wereld ziet er nu anders uit'". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  14. "Zo reëel is een avondklok en dit kunnen we verwachten". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 13 January 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  15. Ajrovic, Semina; Uffelen, Xander van (5 January 2021). "Lockdown heeft geen positief effect op RIVM-cijfers". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  16. Engels, Joep (21 January 2021). "Waarom het kabinet een avondklok wil, ondanks dalende besmettingen. 'Er komt een donkere wolk op ons af'". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  17. "Persconferentie coronavirus 20 januari in eenvoudige taal". Rijksoverheid (in Dutch). 20 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  18. "Tweede Kamer akkoord met avondklok vanaf 21.00 uur". NRC (in Dutch). 21 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  19. "Vanaf zaterdag 23 januari geldt een avondklok". Rijksoverheid (in Dutch). 21 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  20. "Politie grijpt hard in bij coronaprotesten in Eindhoven en Amsterdam". NOS (in Dutch). 24 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  21. Wiegman, Marcel (25 January 2021). "Waar komt deze ongekende geweldsexplosie vandaan?". Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  22. "'Criminal violence': Dutch PM deplores COVID lockdown riots". Al Jazeera. 24 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  23. "Burgemeester hekelt relschoppers Veenendaal: 'Geen enkele maatregel rechtvaardigt geweld'". De Gelderlander (in Dutch). 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  24. Henley, Jon (26 January 2021). "Netherlands shaken by third night of riots over Covid curfew". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  25. Horrichs, Sandra; Beaumont, Randy (26 January 2021). "Noodverordening in Beek na signalen over rellen". 1Limburg (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  26. "Politiechef: 'Relatief tevreden, veel rustiger dan maandag'". NU.nl (in Dutch). 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  27. "Politie tot nu toe tevreden: 'We zitten er kort bovenop'". NOS. 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  28. "Covid: Dutch PM Mark Rutte condemns curfew riots as 'criminal violence'". BBC News. 25 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  29. 29.0 29.1 "Grapperhaus: snelrecht tegen relschoppers, avondklok blijft". NOS (in Dutch). 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  30. Hartog, Tobias den (25 January 2021). "Klaver, Wilders, Segers en Baudet vliegen elkaar in de haren over rellen avondklok". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  31. "Geëmotioneerde burgemeester Eindhoven: 'We zijn zo op weg naar burgeroorlog'". NOS (in Dutch). 25 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  32. "Leger nog niet gevraagd op te treden: 'Zijn ook niet opgeleid voor de-escalatie'". NU.nl (in Dutch). 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.

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