Thousands protest strict lockdown measures in Amsterdam despite local government ban

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Thousands of protesters in the Netherlands marched in the streets of Amsterdam on Sunday to protest the government’s coronavirus prevention measures, ignoring a ban placed on the demonstrations.

The individuals involved in the demonstration were protesting new lockdown measures put in place by the government on Dec. 19, including the closure of all bars, restaurants, non-essential stores, and other entertainment venues.

Protesters marched despite the local government banning the protest because there was a concern of violence. An emergency order was later issued by Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema, which demanded the protesters leave the area of Museum Square.

Several thousands of people defied a ban Sunday to gather and protest the Dutch government’s coronavirus lockdown measures, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
((AP Photo/Peter Dejong))

Protesters held signs reading “Stop World Control” while dressed in hazmat suits. One individual can be seen wearing a jail inmate suit.

Other signs read “Less repression, more care,” “It’s not about a virus, it’s about control,” and even a “Trump 2024” flag.

The local government designated the area of the protest as a security risk, allowing police to search individuals preventatively.

A man wearing a prisoner’s suit joined hundreds of people who defied a ban Sunday to gather and protest the Dutch government’s coronavirus lockdown measures, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
((AP Photo/Peter Dejong))

Reporters who were at the protest saw at least one person arrested.

The protesters went to a western Amsterdam park to attend a populist Forum for Democracy party rally being held on Sunday.

Police clash with demonstrators as thousands of people defied a ban Sunday to gather and protest the Dutch government’s coronavirus lockdown measures, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
(AP Photo/Peter Dejong))

In the Netherlands, coronavirus cases are currently at 85.55 new cases per 100,000 people even though the omicron variant recently became the dominant variant in the country.

Police arrest a demonstrator as thousands of people defied a ban Sunday to gather and protest the Dutch government’s coronavirus lockdown measures, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
((AP Photo/Peter Dejong))

The protests come after separate demonstrations in Rotterdam became violent in November, while protests in Museum Square resulted in tense moments between police and protesters when ignoring the local government orders to leave the area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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