Black Lives Matter demos in Groningen and The Hague pass off without problems
Demonstrations against police brutality and racism in Groningen and The Hague gathered large crowds on Tuesday evening, but unlike in Amsterdam, social distancing rules were kept.
In Groningen, the entire Grote Markt was filled with people, with estimates varying from 800 to 1,500 participants. The demo ‘went off perfectly’, Groningen mayor Koen Schuiling said. No-one was refused access to the demonstration site and there were no fines.
In The Hague, 1,500 took part in a demonstration on the Malieveld near the main railway station. Again, the atmosphere was calm and orderly, city hall officials said.
A fourth demonstration is scheduled to take place in Rotterdam on Wednesday evening. Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has already moved the location to cope with the expected numbers.
In Amsterdam, some 5,000 people turned up for Monday’s demonstration on the Dam, making social distancing impossible. Mayor Femke Halsema has been heavily criticised for allowing the gathering to go ahead.
Halsema has since said that neither she nor the police had ‘realistic information’ about how many people were expected to attend. ‘This has to be improved in the future,’ Halsema said in a briefing to the city council.
Although it was apparent around 5pm that the Dam was becoming crowded ‘the police advised me not to cancel the demonstration because of danger things could escalate and become violent,’ she said.
While far right parties in parliament and on the city council have been quick to condemn Halsema for failing to act, her actions have also been criticised by parties in the city coalition. The issue will be debated by councillors next week.
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