Police out in force in The Hague to quell trouble, unrest in other towns

Police in Bunschoten, where an anti-coronavirus protest turned sour. ANP / Hollandse Hoogte / GinoPress
Police in Bunschoten, where an anti-coronavirus protest turned sour. ANP / Hollandse Hoogte / GinoPress

Police were drafted in to quell trouble in The Hague and several smaller towns on Saturday night, in the wake of Rotterdam’s Friday night riots.

In The Hague, mayor Jan van Zanen invoked his emergency powers in the Schilderswijk and Transvaal neighbourhoods, after groups of young men set fires and threw fireworks at police. One person also threw a stone through the window of an ambulance that was transporting a patient to hospital, broadcaster NOS reported.

Police used horses and water canon to break up the gangs and at least seven people were arrested. Police said five officers were injured in the rioting.

Eight people were arrested in Urk, the staunchly Protestant former fishing village, after dozens of youngsters pelted police with fireworks. Police were already on standby because of similar trouble last weekend.

Police were also out in force in Roermond in Limburg, where four arrests were made, in Stein in Limburg and in Bunschoten, near Utrecht. There were also reports of trouble in Katwijk aan Zee.


In Rotterdam itself, there was a heavy police presence but no repeat of Friday night’s riots, when hundreds of police were drafted in to restore order. Over 50 people were arrested during and after the trouble.

Police have also now said that three people were injured by bullets in Rotterdam, rather than two, as initially reported.

In Amsterdam and Eindhoven, police were on the alert after social media reports that riots were being planned, but there were no real incidents, news website Nu.nl reported.

In Amsterdam, a large group of people had gathered on the Museumplein but mostly dispersed by mid evening, local broadcaster AT5 said.


Earlier in the evening, two Eredivisie football matches were halted for a time after people forced their way into the stadium and set off fireworks.

The trouble was in Alkmaar, during the AZ-NEC tie and in Almelo at the Heracles-Fortuna game.

Supporters are currently banned from stadiums because of the coronavirus restrictions.

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