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Demonstrators in the Netherlands tear-gassed whilst protesting new coronavirus restrictions – by Katie Wood

Protestors in the Netherlands clashed with police as they caused chaos across the country with looting, throwing fireworks and starting fires over new coronavirus curfew restrictions.

Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, decided to implement the 9pm to 4:30am curfew on 23rd January in order to bring Covid-19 cases down. Violators will face a 95-euro fine. Exemptions include people returning from funerals and those having to work.

In defence of the new curfew, National Security Council Chairman Hubert Bruls said: “If we persevere now, we will get our freedoms back sooner.”

In the Netherlands, they were already facing its toughest restrictions yet with bars and restaurants closing in October and schools and non-essential shops closed since December.

In response to these new restrictions, demonstrators took to the streets in order to display their anger towards the government. In Amsterdam, police had to use water cannon and dogs to control the crowd. According to regional television Omroep Brabant, in Eindhoven, police fired tear gas into a crowd and arrested at least 30 people. Vehicles were also burnt and businesses at the train station looted.

The mayor of Eindhoven, John Jorrista spoke to reporters, saying that if they continue down this path: “then I think we are heading for civil war.
Moreover, according to local authorities, a Covid-19 testing sent was set on fire by a young crowd of rioters after the announcement on Saturday in the village of Urk. Far-right politician Geert Wilders accused the government of being ‘careless’ for introducing the curfew. He said: “I do not accept that we unnecessarily… introduce curfews while there are alternatives.”

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