Violence in the Netherlands and Vienna as thousands take to streets to protest Covid-19 measures

·2-min read
Violence in the Netherlands and Vienna as thousands take to streets to protest Covid-19 measures

More than 30 people have been arrested in the Netherlands as waves of protests against Covid-19 restrictions took place across Europe on the weekend.

Dutch police confirmed that that they arrested 19 people in The Hague and used a water cannon to extinguish a fire on a street.

Five officers were injured as they tried to break up unrest by youths who lit two fires and set off fireworks.

Police said in a tweet that one rioter threw a rock at an ambulance carrying a patient to hospital.

It comes after seven people were left injured after Dutch police opened fire on protestors in Rotterdam during demonstrations against Covid-19 restrictions on Friday night.

In the southern towns of Roermond and Stein, police said they arrested a total of 13 people for setting fires and throwing fireworks, with eight arrested for public order offences in the fishing village of Urk.

Two protests against Covid-19 measures went peacefully in Amsterdam and the southern city of Breda.

Large-scale protests also took place in other European countries including Austria, Switzerland, Croatia and Italy.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Vienna on Saturday after the Austrian government announced a nationwide lockdown beginning on Monday to contain skyrocketing coronavirus infections.

Photos show protestors marching with signs emblazoned with “no to vaccination” and “down with the fascist dictatorship”.

Anti-lockdown protesters march in Vienna (AP)
Anti-lockdown protesters march in Vienna (AP)

As the march kicked off on Vienna’s Heldenplatz, thousands of protesters gathered on the massive square.

About 1,300 police officers were on duty. They used loudspeakers to tell protestors masks were required, but most didn’t wear them. Chanting “Resistance!” and blowing whistles, protesters moved slowly down the city’s inner ring road.

Several people were detained as police struggled to manage the chaotic scenes.

Vaccinations in Austria have plateaued at one of the lowest rates in Western Europe and hospitals in heavily hit states have warned that their intensive care units are reaching capacity. Average daily deaths have tripled in recent weeks.

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