Seven people were arrested after fierce clashes broke out between law enforcement and anti-lockdown demonstrators in The Hague, the seat of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on Saturday.
A video shared on social media shows protesters lighting firecrackers that sparked multiple fires, causing the skies in the city to glow an eerie red.
In another clip, a group of protesters could be seen knocking down a traffic pole fitted with a surveillance camera.
Dutch police reported that five of its officers were injured in the showdown with rioters. One officer was taken to hospital with a knee injury and concussion. Two others “suffered hearing damage,” while another two suffered injuries to their hands.
The chaotic scenes in the Netherlands’ third-largest city unfolded a day after a protest against reimposed Covid-19 restrictions in Rotterdam was marred by violence. Over 50 people were arrested in the city and three were injured after police opened fire in a bid to quell the unrest. Police later claimed that officers were “compelled to shoot at targets” to protect themselves. The three injured protesters remain in hospital, and their condition is unknown.
Protests have swept through a number of Dutch cities after the Netherlands became the first country in Western Europe since summer to go into a partial lockdown last week. Tensions soared further after the government banned New Year’s Eve fireworks displays and the Dutch parliament backed the introduction of the so-called 2G system, which would bar the unvaccinated and those who have not recently recovered from the virus from a long list of public places if introduced.