On Sunday, Dutch police dispersed thousands of anti-lockdown protesters outside The Hague, a day before the start of national elections in the country.
Reuters Reports Police used batons and water cannons to disperse protesters who authorities said were ignoring social distancing rules as well as authorities’ warnings.
The authorities said that 20 people were arrested and two people were injured by police dogs after they refused to leave the area.
According to Reuters, many of the protesters carried yellow umbrellas and opposition banners reading “Love, Freedom, Stop Dictatorship.”
– Al Jazeera English (AJEnglish) March 14, 2021
Despite the protest, the newsletter indicates that the majority of Dutch voters support the closure because the rate of infection with the Coronavirus in the Netherlands is in the farthest reaches of Europe.
Reuters reports that the country has been under a severe lockdown since January, with gatherings of more than two people banned, and the first night curfew since World War II. When the lockdown was extended, it sparked several days of riots across the country.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, the Netherlands has confirmed more than 1.1 million cases of coronavirus and more than 16,000 related deaths.
The Dutch national elections start on Monday, with polls open for the next three days. Reuters reports that Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s party, the Conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), is looking for another four years after its victory in 2010.
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