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The Netherlands: Riots in the Anti-Crown Protests

The Netherlands: Riots in the Anti-Crown Protests

Over the past two nights, there has been serious unrest in a number of cities in the Netherlands. Shortly before the nighttime curfew, crowds of people, especially young people, formed on the streets. Then individual groups began to destroy stores, set fire to cars and attacked police officers. Could these protests be seen as a manifestation of the psychological effects of the pandemic, or were the virus just a pretext?

Everyone is on the edge...

De Standaard points out that the ongoing pandemic is provoking an explosive mixture in society:

“Tensions are gradually rising. The manic-depressive patterns of the current pandemic affect the psyche of each of us. It seems for one second that liberation is at hand, and then that hope vanishes without a trace in the blink of an eye. If this scheme is repeated over and over again, even the most disciplined citizen will soon lose all patience. The fuse in the powder keg smolders. And what has now happened in the so civilized Netherlands — the burning down of the rapid-testing center, the riots in the hospital — unbelievable! — should serve as a final warning.”

Crown provokes rage

The psychological consequences of the pandemic are also gradually being outlined, writes La Vanguardia editor-in-chief Jordi Joao:

“Of course, this is the first protest action of this magnitude in Europe, but every night in many other cities of the Old World other actions take place independently of each other. Curfews, closures of leisure facilities, and other measures imposed by the authorities to reduce the number of infections are met with fierce rejection among a wide variety of populations, both young and older. Hopefully, the wave of violent actions can be contained, but the resentment and rage generated by the pandemic will surely leave its mark on society. The economic consequences are already being felt. But there will also inevitably be very negative psychological consequences.

A firm “No” to street terror!

According to De Telegraaf, the current unrest should not be confused with civil protest:

“You have to be very unhinged to confuse this destructive rage with demonstrations against curfews. ... Still, you have to make a distinction between the sometimes naive citizens who want to make themselves heard peacefully — and the aggressive vandals who smash everything around them and look for any opportunity to confront the police. ... We need to find out who the instigators of these violent actions are. ... There must be zero tolerance for violence. There is only one answer to street terror: a harsh and stern intervention — and the immediate restoration of order. There must be no chaos in the country.

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