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 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.
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.
►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.