Until December, the Dutch government had bucked the authoritarian trend of most global authorities in their efforts to 'crush' the virus, but as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths began to soar, the government turned to harsher measures, and ultimately to the first curfew since WWII.
Yesterday was the first night of the newly enforced curfew and that crackdown sparked a backlash across the nation..
The violence climaxed with a group of rioting young people torching a coronavirus testing facility and threw fireworks at police in a Dutch fishing village.
Video from the village of Urk, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Amsterdam, showed youths breaking into the COVID-19 testing facility near the village’s harbor before it was set ablaze Saturday night.
“This is not only unacceptable, but also a slap in the face, especially for the local health authority staff who do all they can at the test center to help people from Urk,” the local authorities said, promising to strictly enforce the curfew in the future.
The group was reportedly driving cars, honking horns, and waving national flags at the square, footage from the scene shows.
The group then apparently waited for police to arrive to taunt the officers and pelt them with various projectiles.
Ik zie hier op Twitter toch vrij weinig over het pittoreske Urk pic.twitter.com/Udviy1sDmi— Hidde (@VP_Hidde) January 24, 2021
Overall, police said Sunday they fined more than 3,600 people nationwide for breaching the curfew that ran from 9 p.m. Saturday until 4:30 a.m. Sunday and arrested 25 people for breaching the curfew or for violence.
Police in Amsterdam also were bracing for another protest Sunday, sending officers to a square where demonstrators clashed with police a week ago. The city’s municipality designated the square a “risk area,” a move that gave police extra powers to frisk people.