Anti-lockdown protestors were shot by police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Friday, ahead of rallies in numerous European cities protesting new Covid restrictions.
After protestors tore through the city’s central commercial center, burning fires in their wake, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told reporters that police officers “found it necessary to pull their firearms to defend themselves” several times.
He described the events as “an orgy of violence,” adding that “many were hurt” after cops “fired at protestors,” but he couldn’t say how serious their injuries were.
Police claimed in a post on Twitter that at least seven individuals had been hurt in the fights, and that policemen had also been injured. According to authorities, several arrests had been made. The demonstrations erupted as the Netherlands became the first western European country to enforce a partial lockdown since the summer as Covid cases rose across the country, hitting new highs in recent days, with 23,000 new infections recorded in a single day on Thursday.
Restaurants, bars, and vital businesses will close by 8 p.m., while non-essential retail shops and services will close by 6 p.m. during the lockdown, which is expected to last at least three weeks. In the house, social events have likewise been confined to groups of four.
While the partial lockdown has provoked a response similar to the violent riots that erupted in the Netherlands in January over Covid restrictions, the western European country is not alone in encountering opposition to the reinstatement of Covid restrictions.
Thousands of people flocked to the streets in Vienna to protest new Covid restrictions that would make Austria the first European country to implement a full national lockdown this autumn, as well as additional vaccine requirements.