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A police officer sweeps up glass after protests against a nationwide curfew in Rotterdam A police officer sweeps up glass from a bus stop that was smashed during protests against a nationwide curfew in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Jan. 25, 2021 (AP photo by Peter Dejong).

The Netherlands’ Violent Anti-Lockdown Protests Are a Bad Omen

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021

When riots erupted across the Netherlands last weekend against a new coronavirus lockdown, the scenes of mayhem triggered a cascade of emotions. “My city is crying, and so am I,” said John Jorritsma, the mayor of Eindhoven, the country’s fifth-largest city, contemplating the damage from all the violence. But the sentiment was not just sadness. Furious, and perhaps a bit frightened, Jorritsma called the rioters “the scum of the Earth” and warned that the country could be “on our way to civil war.”

The protests in nearly a dozen Dutch cities erupted under the banner of rejecting stricter measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, including a curfew—from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.—imposed by the government in an effort to protect the country from the more contagious and perhaps deadlier U.K. variant of the coronavirus. The pandemic has left more than 13,700 people dead in the Netherlands, and led to about a million confirmed infections. ...

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