Thursday 28 October 2021

Rotterdam anti-racism demo ends early as ‘too many people’ turn up

The Rotterdam demo stretched over the river. Photo: Robin Utrecht

Wednesday’s anti-racism demonstration in Rotterdam was ended early by mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb because too many people turned up to maintain social distancing.

A spokesman for the mayor told broadcaster NOS the protest location had become too busy to be manageable. An initial estimate put the number of demonstrators at well over 4,000 – the number of people officials had expected would attend.

The demonstration took place on the Erasmus bridge and its surroundings. Police had used a drone and megaphones to remind people to keep to 1.5 metres distance.

The demonstration was halted shortly before 6pm, some 30 minutes ahead of schedule.

Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema has been heavily criticised for failing to act to stop Monday’s demonstration in the capital, which saw 5,000 people pack into Dam square.

There were no problems with social distancing at demonstrations in The Hague and Groningen on Tuesday.

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