Thousands of Dutch protesters gathered in Amsterdam on Sunday to protest the government’s lockdown and Covid restrictions over a resurgence of the Omicron variant. But what began as a peaceful protest suddenly turned violent after police unleashed attack dogs and began to beat protesters with batons. Even as Dutch military veterans attempted to stand between police and citizens, the situation turned ugly fast. The Dutch government claimed the protesters were particpating in an “unauthorized”protest, yet the Dutch Constitution grants them the right to do so. Sound familiar yet?
It came after Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema issued an emergency ordinance giving more police to clear the central Museum Square after the protesters violated the city’s ban on public gatherings amid an increase in COVID-19 cases.
The protesters also walked along a main thoroughfare in the capital city, playing music and holding yellow umbrellas in a sign of opposition to the government restrictions…take our poll - story continues below
In Holland, gatherings of more than two people are prohibited under the current set of restrictions…
On Dec. 19, the Netherlands went into sudden lockdown as the government ordered the shuttering of all stores except for those it deemed “essential.” Restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, museums, and other public places were also closed until at least Jan. 14, the government ordered.
The lockdown orders came despite studies that suggest the Omicron variant—while highly contagious—presents significantly less severe disease than the Delta variant. The hospitalization rate in the United States is also comparatively lower now than during previous COVID-19 surges, said Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky last week.
Mayor Femke Halsema allowed Black Lives Matter protests to flood her city, but now is attempting to shut down the anti-restriction protests. That fact was not lost on Dutch protesters.
This man was beaten by police: