Dutch police have clashed with protesters demonstrating against the country’s lockdown in Amsterdam and the southern city of Eindhoven, a day after rioting youths torched a coronavirus testing facility in a fishing village.
n Amsterdam, police used a water cannon to disperse protesters taking part in a banned demonstration in a major square ringed by museums. Video images showed the water cannon spraying people grouped against a wall of the Van Gogh Museum.
Police in Eindhoven used a water cannon and tear gas against a crowd of hundreds of demonstrators that also included supporters of the anti-immigrant group Pegida.
Eindhoven police said they made at least 30 arrests and warned people to stay away from the city centre. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
It was the second Sunday in a row that police had clashed with protesters in Amsterdam angry at the country’s lockdown.
The unrest followed a night of rioting in the fishing village of Urk on the first night of a curfew imposed by the Dutch government to rein in the spread of the more transmissible variant of the coronavirus.
Police said on Sunday that they had fined more than 3,600 people nationwide for breaching the curfew that ran from 9pm on Saturday until 4.30am on Sunday, and arrested 25 people for breaching the curfew or for violence.
Video from Urk, 50 miles north east of Amsterdam, showed youths breaking into the coronavirus testing facility near the village’s harbour before it was set alight on Saturday night.
The police and municipality issued a statement on Sunday expressing their anger at rioting, “from throwing fireworks and stones to destroying police cars and with the torching of the test location”.
“This is not only unacceptable, but also a slap in the face, especially for the local health authority staff who do all they can at the test centre to help people from Urk,” the local authorities said, adding that the curfew would be strictly enforced for the rest of the week.