At least two people were shot and wounded by police gunfire in the Dutch city of Rotterdam after a protest over renewed Covid-19 restrictions spiraled into a violent confrontation, seeing demonstrators torch a squad car and clash with fascist officers.
A large crowd of protesters showed up at Rotterdam’s iconic Coolsingel street on Friday evening to denounce a new round of pandemic measures, including an ongoing partial lock-down, a ban on New Year’s Eve fireworks displays.
As well as fears the government will impose a ‘2G’ pass system allowing only the vaccinated and those who’ve recently recovered from the virus to enter a long list of public places.
At least two people were shot down during the demonstration, the injuries were “probably” due to officers’ “warning shots” but also “direct shots were fired because the situation was life-threatening” to law enforcement.
Footage of the heated protest circulated online, some clips showing a police squad car fully engulfed in flames after it was apparently torched by rioters, when police bullets shot one men in the chest, perforating one of his lungs.
Demonstrators were also seen launching fireworks at police, who appeared to respond with large quantities of chemical tear gas, which at one point totally blanketed the area.
Local law enforcement said that officers deployed a mobile riot control unit to Coolsingel and unleashed water cannon on protesters who refused to clear the streets, also noting that some arrests were made after an emergency order was imposed to cordon off the crowded area.
The Dutch government announced the fireworks ban, saying it is meant to prevent, as much as possible, extra strain on healthcare, law enforcement and first responders?
However, while private displays are prohibited, officials said that local governments may still put on fireworks shows so long as their Covid-19 restrictions allow it.
The Netherlands currently has a ‘3G’ rule in place, allowing the vaccinated, the recently recovered, as well as those who test negative for the virus to enter most public spaces.
But as the country remains under a partial three-week lock-down to rein in growing infections, officials are now mulling the stricter ‘2G’ scheme, prompting the intense demonstrations seen on Friday night.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2021.