Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday condemned rioters in Rotterdam and different cities and cities across the Netherlands over the weekend as “idiots” and stated police and prosecutors would deliver them to justice. 

Rutte’s feedback got here after coronavirus protests within the Netherlands and Brussels descended into violence amid simmering anger at lockdown measures being put in place in an try and rein in hovering charges of an infection. 

“I realize that there are a lot of tensions in society because we have been dealing with all the misery of coronavirus for so long,” Rutte stated. 

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A protester lights a flare throughout an illustration in opposition to the strengthened measures of the Belgium authorities to counter the most recent spike of the coronavirus in Brussels, Belgium, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. 
(AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

But he stated violence in Rotterdam and different smaller incidents within the Netherlands had “nothing to do with demonstrating. This is a pure explosion of violence directed against our police, against our firefighters, against ambulance drivers.” 

The violence got here every week into a brand new partial lockdown within the Netherlands and after an announcement that the federal government was banning fireworks on New Year’s Eve in an effort to ease the pressure on hospital emergency rooms. In riots across the nation, youths threw fireworks at cops. 

Demonstrations in Amsterdam and the southern metropolis of Breda protesting lockdown measures handed off with out violence on Saturday and the overwhelming majority of tens of 1000’s of protesters in Brussels remained peaceable. 

Prosecutors in Rotterdam, of their newest replace on rioting Friday night time that noticed police open hearth on rampaging rioters, stated Sunday that 49 individuals have been arrested, six of them minors and plenty of extra “young adults.” 

A protestors clash with riot police during a demonstration against the reinforced measures of the Belgium government to counter the latest spike of the coronavirus in Brussels, Belgium, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. 

A protestors conflict with riot police throughout an illustration in opposition to the strengthened measures of the Belgium authorities to counter the most recent spike of the coronavirus in Brussels, Belgium, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. 
(AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

A separate investigation has been launched into the police firing at rioters. Prosecutors stated 4 individuals suffered gunshot wounds within the rioting, however investigations are nonetheless underway into who fired the pictures. Officers additionally fired warning pictures. 

 

Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, who described the rioting in his metropolis as an “orgy of violence,” stated soccer hooligans have been believed to be concerned. 

Rutte stated that as a liberal leader of the Netherlands, “I will always fight for the right to demonstrate in this country. That is part of our democracy, of our rule of law, but what I will never accept is that idiots use sheer violence against the people who work for you and me every day … to keep this country safe under the guise of: We are dissatisfied.”