Thousands of people protest against Covid measures in the Netherlands despite ban on gatherings | World news

Thousands of protesters in the Netherlands defied a government ban on large protests on Sunday to express their anger over COVID-19-related restrictions.

There have been clashes between riot police and protesters in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, DW News reported.

Amsterdam’s local government had banned Sunday’s protest, saying police had indications some protesters might be planning “violence”.

Riot police marched on the grass to clear the area, sending protesters to nearby streets.

Protesters gathered in the city center before marching to a park in the Dutch capital where a rally of the populist Forum for Democracy was held, DW News reported.

A small group of protesters briefly clashed with riot police as officers struggled to evacuate the crowds from Museum Square, DW News reported.

The municipality then issued an emergency order for people to leave the square.

Most people have responded to the call to disperse, given over the loudspeaker, from the square in front of the Rijksmuseum. Before the officers moved in, people near the Van Gogh Museum unfurled a banner that read, “Less repression, more care.

A group of people in white overalls and white masks held up signs, including one that read: “This is not a virus, this is control” on one side and “Freedom” on the one hand. other, DW News reported.

The Netherlands is currently under a strict lockdown, which is expected to last at least until mid-January.

Despite the rapid spread of the highly contagious omicron variant, rates of coronavirus infection in the Netherlands have gradually declined in recent weeks.

Cases have been declining since the country reintroduced lockdown measures in November, before tightening them further during the holiday season, DW News reported.

Meanwhile, more and more European countries are implementing or considering new measures to contain the Omicron variant as people return to work and school after the holidays.

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Sara H. Byrd