Before parliamentary elections in Holland – violence at anti-lockdown demonstration in The Hague – News abroad

The Hague – Bad scenes the day before the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands: Thousands of people had gathered in a meadow in The Hague to protest against the lockdown. When the police wanted to break up the rally because the number of participants was exceeded, the officers used water cannons, batons and dogs against the demonstrators.

Because there were far more than the allowed 200 people on the Malieveld in The Hague, the police asked the participants to leave the premises from 3:30 p.m., reports the broadcaster NOS.


When the protesters refused to leave the site voluntarily, the police used batons against the demonstrators

When the protesters refused to leave the site voluntarily, the police used batons against the demonstratorsPhoto: JOHN THYS / AFP


A man lies on the ground, two officers with a dog keep him in check

A man lies on the ground, two officers with a dog keep him in checkFoto: Getty Images


Reports on the number of arrests were initially not available

Reports on the number of arrests were initially not availablePhoto: JOHN THYS / AFP

When the protesters did not respond, units of riot police and mounted police began the evacuation from 3:45 p.m. The police also used water cannons. Many demonstrators used umbrellas to protect themselves against the masses of water.


Protesters seek shelter from police water cannons under umbrellas

Protesters seek shelter from police water cannons under umbrellasPhoto: JOHN THYS / AFP


In the course of the evacuation there were sometimes violent wrangling

In the course of the evacuation there were sometimes violent wranglingPhoto: ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN / AFP

According to media reports, there were several arrests, police officers were shot with fireworks. The demonstrators chanted “love, freedom, end the dictatorship”. The rally was directed against the incumbent government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, but also against the restrictions imposed in the country due to the corona pandemic.


Officials on horses were also involved in the evacuation

Officials on horses were also involved in the evacuationFoto: Getty Images

►Since the end of January there has been a strict lockdown in the Netherlands, including a night curfew. After the imposition, violent riots broke out in several Dutch cities for days.

The country will vote from Monday. The polling stations are open for three days so that the distance rules can be observed.

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