Anti-lockdown protests erupt around Europe for third night in row

Anger and frustration against measures to curb spiraling Covid rates boiled over across Europe for a third night in a row, as ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia reports

Dutch police have arrested more than 30 people during unrest in The Hague and other towns in the Netherlands that followed an “ orgy of violence ” the previous night at a protest against coronavirus restrictions.

The violence by groups of youths in The Hague and elsewhere on Saturday was not as serious as that on Friday in Rotterdam, where police opened fire on rampaging rioters and arrested 51 people.

Police said Sunday that they arrested 19 people in The Hague and used a water cannon to extinguish a fire on a street.

Two football matches in the country’s top professional league were briefly halted when fans, banned from matches under a partial lockdown in force in the Netherlands for a week, broke into stadiums in the towns of Alkmaar and Almelo.

A protester wears a sign reading Freedom during a demonstration in Amsterdam Credit: Peter Dejong/AP

In The Hague, police said five officers were injured as they tried to break up unrest by youths who set at least two fires on streets and threw fireworks.

Police said in a tweet that one rioter threw a rock at an ambulance carrying a patient to hospital.

In the southern towns of Roermond and Stein, police said they arrested a total of 13 people for setting fires and throwing fireworks, and in the fishing village of Urk police arrested eight people for public order offences, Dutch broadcaster NOS reported.

Earlier on Saturday, two protests against Covid-19 measures went peacefully in Amsterdam and the southern city of Breda. Thousands of people marched through Amsterdam to protest against Covid restrictions.

Thousands take part in a demonstration in Amsterdam. Credit: AP

Tens of thousands of protesters also took to the streets of Vienna on Saturday after the Austrian government announced a nationwide lockdown beginning on Monday to contain skyrocketing coronavirus infections.

There were also demonstrations in Italy, Switzerland, Croatia and Northern Ireland.

Police in Rotterdam said that three rioters were hit by bullets and investigations were under way to establish if they were shot by police on Friday. The condition of the injured rioters was not disclosed.

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb called the rioting in his city an “orgy of violence” and said that “on a number of occasions the police felt it necessary to draw their weapons to defend themselves”.