Dutch riots unfolded for the third consecutive night as anti-lockdown protesters defied the country’s new curfew rules to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, according to RT News.
At least 150 people were arrested Monday night in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where stores were looted and vandalized.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb signed an emergency order last night giving law enforcement the powers to arrest protesters.
“These people are shameless thieves, I cannot say otherwise,” Aboutaleb said. “I had to threaten them with the use of teargas – a far-reaching measure. I find that sad, because I have never had to do that in my entire career as mayor.”
Social unrest also took place in other metro areas like The Hague, Haarlem, Almelo, Helmond, Geleen, Veenendaal, Almelo, Breda, and Tilburg.
Rioters were dressed in all black. Some torched cars and threw rocks and unleashed fireworks at police.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte condemned the rioters and said their motivations had “nothing to do with protesting” lockdowns.
“It’s criminal violence and we will treat it as such,” Rutte added.
In several Dutch cities, Mayors have also announced emergency orders to arrest rioters and prevent further looting.
Over the weekend, police said some 300 people were detained on Saturday and Sunday. Much of the frustration comes from the government shuttering all bars and restaurants in the northwestern European country since October, with schools and non-essential shops closed in mid-December to mitigate the virus spread.
Koen Simmers, the head of the national police union, told local television that officers are preparing for additional riots. “I hope it was a one-off, but I’m afraid it could be a harbinger for the days and weeks to come,” he said.
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