Rotterdam mayor limits anti-racism demonstration to 80 people

Photo: Wouter Engler via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wouter Engler via Wikimedia Commons

Rotterdam’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has said he will refuse to let an anti-police violence demonstration go ahead on Wednesday if more than 80 people turn up.

The Schouwburgplein, where the demonstration is being held, is not suitable for more people than that because it would be impossible to keep 1.5 metres distance, the mayor told Radio Rijmond.

Aboutaleb was commenting on Monday’s demonstration in Amsterdam, which was attended by 5,000 people and where social distancing rules were broken. The organisers say they had expected no more than 300.

‘In Rotterdam they expect 150 and that is too many already,’ he said. ‘More than 80 is not an option and I will let the organisers know. If more people do turn up when we will not accommodate them on the square.’

Aboutaleb also said he was surprised at the ‘old-fashioned’ approach to demonstrations. ‘Look at Italy where people have been making a noise from their balconies,’ he said. ‘Or form a trail of people on the edge of the water… you can make a statement and still keep 1.5 metres distance.’

The Hague

The next anti police violence demonstration has been called in The Hague for Tuesday evening. According to local broadcaster Omroep West, the organisers and city officials are still discussing a potential location.

‘The RIVM guidelines will be adhered to during this demonstration,’ a spokesman for the council said.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation