Shops are boarded up in the Netherlands as they prepare for anti-lockdown rioting

The Dutch government vowed not to back down on its coronavirus curfew in the face of three nights of rioting by ‘scum’, ministers said.

Police took to the streets of Dutch towns and cities in force on Tuesday night to try to prevent violent rioting that shook the country for three nights after a nationwide curfew was introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Officers in Rotterdam said they arrested 17 people for minor offences before the nightly curfew took effect at 9pm.

Local broadcaster Rijnmond reported riot police were deployed in the south and west of the city, but police did not immediately report any major disturbances.

In Amsterdam, riot police were dispatched to a commercial street where a large group of youths had gathered and set off fireworks, but there were no violent confrontations.

‘You don’t capitulate to people who smash shop windows,’ Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra told ANP national news agency. ‘Scum does this,’ not genuine protesters, he added.  

Officers in Rotterdam (pictured) said they arrested 17 people for minor offences before the nightly curfew took effect at 9pm

Officers in Rotterdam (pictured) said they arrested 17 people for minor offences before the nightly curfew took effect at 9pm

Officers in Rotterdam (pictured) said they arrested 17 people for minor offences before the nightly curfew took effect at 9pm

Local broadcaster Rijnmond reported riot police were deployed in the south and west of the city, but police did not immediately report any major disturbances

Local broadcaster Rijnmond reported riot police were deployed in the south and west of the city, but police did not immediately report any major disturbances

Local broadcaster Rijnmond reported riot police were deployed in the south and west of the city, but police did not immediately report any major disturbances

A person being detained on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam, where young people were rioting the day before and caused destruction

A person being detained on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam, where young people were rioting the day before and caused destruction

A person being detained on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam, where young people were rioting the day before and caused destruction

Police officers take security measurements as people staged a protest against coronavirus restrictions and curfew imposed by Dutch government in Rotterdam

Police officers take security measurements as people staged a protest against coronavirus restrictions and curfew imposed by Dutch government in Rotterdam

Police officers take security measurements as people staged a protest against coronavirus restrictions and curfew imposed by Dutch government in Rotterdam

Police officers detain a man as people stage a protest against coronavirus restrictions and curfew imposed by Dutch government in Rotterdam

Police officers detain a man as people stage a protest against coronavirus restrictions and curfew imposed by Dutch government in Rotterdam

Police officers detain a man as people stage a protest against coronavirus restrictions and curfew imposed by Dutch government in Rotterdam

The rioting, which started with the torching of a coronavirus testing centre in a fishing village on Saturday night, is the worst to hit the Netherlands in years.

The rioting was initially triggered by anger over a tough lockdown that has been in force since mid-December, but calls for rioting swirling on social media and mainly spread among young people increasingly fuelled the unrest.

Schools have been closed in the country since the Christmas holidays.

Police said Tuesday afternoon video images showed many rioters were young teenagers and many of the people they arrested were picked up close to their homes.

‘I join others in appealing to parents to keep their children at home. Certainly after 2100, stay indoors,’ said North Holland regional Police Chief Anja Schouten.

The violence has stretched the police and led at times to the deployment of military police.

On Monday night, rioters pelted police with rocks, fireworks and Molotov cocktails and looted shops in at least two cities, Rotterdam and Den Bosch.

A total of 184 people were arrested in Monday night’s unrest. Police ticketed more than 1,700 for breaching the 9pm to 4.30am curfew, which carries a fine of 95 euros ($115).

The rioting, which started with the torching of a coronavirus testing centre in a fishing village on Saturday night, is the worst to hit the Netherlands in years. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

The rioting, which started with the torching of a coronavirus testing centre in a fishing village on Saturday night, is the worst to hit the Netherlands in years. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

The rioting, which started with the torching of a coronavirus testing centre in a fishing village on Saturday night, is the worst to hit the Netherlands in years. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

It was initially triggered by anger over a tough lockdown that has been in force since mid-December, but calls for rioting swirling on social media and mainly spread among young people increasingly fuelled the unrest. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

It was initially triggered by anger over a tough lockdown that has been in force since mid-December, but calls for rioting swirling on social media and mainly spread among young people increasingly fuelled the unrest. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

It was initially triggered by anger over a tough lockdown that has been in force since mid-December, but calls for rioting swirling on social media and mainly spread among young people increasingly fuelled the unrest. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

A man is detained on on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam, where young people were rioting the day before and caused destruction in a demonstration against the curfew

A man is detained on on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam, where young people were rioting the day before and caused destruction in a demonstration against the curfew

A man is detained on on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam, where young people were rioting the day before and caused destruction in a demonstration against the curfew

Police officers detain a demonstrator protesting against restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease in Rotterdam on Tuesday

Police officers detain a demonstrator protesting against restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease in Rotterdam on Tuesday

Police officers detain a demonstrator protesting against restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease in Rotterdam on Tuesday

Police said Tuesday afternoon video images showed many rioters were young teenagers and many of the people they arrested were picked up close to their homes

Police said Tuesday afternoon video images showed many rioters were young teenagers and many of the people they arrested were picked up close to their homes

Police said Tuesday afternoon video images showed many rioters were young teenagers and many of the people they arrested were picked up close to their homes

Officers around the country also detained dozens suspected of inciting rioting through social media.

Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said earlier Tuesday that riots would quickly be brought before the courts and face possible prison terms if convicted.

‘They won’t get away with it,’ he told reporters in The Hague.

‘If you rob people who are struggling, with the help of the government, to keep their head above water, it’s totally scandalous,’ Grapperhaus told reporters. He stressed the curfew is necessary in the fight against the coronavirus.

Populist right-wing opposition lawmaker Geert Wilders called for the army to be used to quell rioting, something the government has so far ruled out.

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb posted a video message on Twitter, asking rioters: ‘Does it feel good to wake up with a bag full of stolen stuff next to you?’

Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said earlier Tuesday that riots would quickly be brought before the courts and face possible prison terms if convicted. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said earlier Tuesday that riots would quickly be brought before the courts and face possible prison terms if convicted. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said earlier Tuesday that riots would quickly be brought before the courts and face possible prison terms if convicted. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

Populist right-wing opposition lawmaker Geert Wilders called for the army to be used to quell rioting, something the government has so far ruled out. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

Populist right-wing opposition lawmaker Geert Wilders called for the army to be used to quell rioting, something the government has so far ruled out. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

Populist right-wing opposition lawmaker Geert Wilders called for the army to be used to quell rioting, something the government has so far ruled out. Pictured: Rotterdam on Tuesday

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb posted a video message on Twitter, asking rioters: 'Does it feel good to wake up with a bag full of stolen stuff next to you?' Pictured: Amsterdam on Tuesday

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb posted a video message on Twitter, asking rioters: 'Does it feel good to wake up with a bag full of stolen stuff next to you?' Pictured: Amsterdam on Tuesday

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb posted a video message on Twitter, asking rioters: ‘Does it feel good to wake up with a bag full of stolen stuff next to you?’ Pictured: Amsterdam on Tuesday

Residents took to the streets Tuesday to help with the cleanup, and the city's mayor said he would investigate authorities' response to the rioting. Pictured: Den Bosch on Tuesday

Residents took to the streets Tuesday to help with the cleanup, and the city's mayor said he would investigate authorities' response to the rioting. Pictured: Den Bosch on Tuesday

Residents took to the streets Tuesday to help with the cleanup, and the city’s mayor said he would investigate authorities’ response to the rioting. Pictured: Den Bosch on Tuesday

Police talk to people on a street in the Grote Marktstraat in The Hague, on Tuesday, a day after police clashed with groups of demonstrators protesting against the introduction of a coronavirus curfew over the weekend

Police talk to people on a street in the Grote Marktstraat in The Hague, on Tuesday, a day after police clashed with groups of demonstrators protesting against the introduction of a coronavirus curfew over the weekend

Police talk to people on a street in the Grote Marktstraat in The Hague, on Tuesday, a day after police clashed with groups of demonstrators protesting against the introduction of a coronavirus curfew over the weekend

He also appealed to parents of the young rioters, asking: ‘Did you miss your son yesterday? Did you ask yourself where he was?’

The municipality in Den Bosch designated large parts of the city as risk areas for Tuesday night, fearing a repeat of the violence.

Residents took to the streets Tuesday to help with the cleanup, and the city’s mayor said he would investigate authorities’ response to the rioting.

‘This criminal violence must stop,’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted.

‘The riots have nothing to do with protesting or struggling for freedom,’ he added. ‘We must win the battle against the virus together, because that’s the only way of getting back our freedom.’

The rate of new infections in Netherlands has been decreasing in recent weeks, but the country’s public health institute warned Tuesday the new variant of the virus first detected in Britain is gaining ground and like was responsible for more than one third of infections over the last week.

The country has registered more than 13,650 confirmed Covid-19 deaths.       

Owners of Cafe Van Bommel close the windows and doors in the run-up to the evening due to expected anti-lockdown protest and riots in Maastricht on Tuesday

Owners of Cafe Van Bommel close the windows and doors in the run-up to the evening due to expected anti-lockdown protest and riots in Maastricht on Tuesday

Owners of Cafe Van Bommel close the windows and doors in the run-up to the evening due to expected anti-lockdown protest and riots in Maastricht on Tuesday

Entrepreneurs on the Vrijthof dismantle a large parasol in the run-up to the evening due to possible anti lockdown protest and riots in Maastricht on Tuesday

Entrepreneurs on the Vrijthof dismantle a large parasol in the run-up to the evening due to possible anti lockdown protest and riots in Maastricht on Tuesday

Entrepreneurs on the Vrijthof dismantle a large parasol in the run-up to the evening due to possible anti lockdown protest and riots in Maastricht on Tuesday

Link hienalouca.com

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