On Fri, social unrest flared up across Europe as government authorities reinstated strict COVID measures such as restrictions for unvaccinated, partial, and full lockdowns amid a wave of new infections.
COVID-19 infections are surging in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Greece, and lots of of these countries are imposing strict public health procedures to contain the spread. Austria has gone so far as to sanction a nationwide lockdown beginning Monday.
Riots broke out in the downtown area Rotterdam during a demonstration against partial lockdowns Friday. Gran Ahmed Aboutaleb told reporters it was “ an orgy of violence. ” This individual said, “ on a number of occasions, the police felt it necessary to draw their weaponry to defend themselves” as rioters set fires, torched cars, threw rocks and other straight-forward objects at police.
“ They shot from protesters, and people were hurt, ” Aboutaleb said. He couldn’t provide an injury report but said police fired warning shots.
Photos from last night show absolute mayhem.
— Disclose. tv (@disclosetv) November 19, 2021
Police cars were torched. Just chaos.
Protests turned violent in the Netherlands as packed areas in Rotterdam marched against government plans to make a ‘coronavirus pass’ mandatory for some indoor venues https://t.co/zqTADgZZiW pic. twitter. com/N3haRtyRJQ
— Reuters (@Reuters) Nov 20, 2021
Allegedly protesters were shot by police.
At least two people shot at anti mandate protest in Rotterdam pic. twitter. com/A2XXoZFWEE
— 𝔸 𝕟 𝕘 𝕣 𝕪 𝕣 𝕒 𝕪 𝟞 𝟞 #HoldTheLine (@angryray66) November 19, 2021
A lot more gunfire.
— AUSTROHÚ NGARO (@AUSTROHNGARO2) November 19, 2021
Rotterdam riots were some of the worst the Netherlands have seen since officials enforced similar public health procedures last year.
Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus denounced the riots:
“ The riots and intense violence against police officers, riot police and firefighters yesterday evening in Rotterdam are horrible to see.
“ Protesting is a great right in our society, but what we saw last night is just criminal behavior. It has nothing to do with demonstrating, ” Grapperhaus said.
The right-wing political party Leefbaar Rotterdam condemned the riots inside a tweet:
“ The middle of our beautiful city offers this evening transformed into a battleground, ” it said. “ Rotterdam is a city where you can disagree with things that occur, but violence is never ever, never the solution. ”
In the mean time, Austria has introduced the most severe restrictions out of all 27 countries in the EU, announcing full lockdown will begin on Monday.
Dozens of protests are expected across Dutch cities and other nations on Saturday. As demonstrations begin, we will update during the day.