EU in 2021 – Dutch police shoot live bullets at lockdown protesters, 3 hospitalised

EU-wide protests took place Friday & yesterday against vaccination and lockdown policies

Main pic credit Olaf Kosinsky. Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2021

The EU Commission remains silent on enforced vaccinations and on police armed response

The scenes turned ugly on the streets of Rotterdam on Friday evening, amid protests against government Covid policies. Parts of Rotterdam resembled a war zone, with vehicles set on fire and with violent clashes between protesters and the Dutch police.

Critically in Rotterdam, the police fired live bullets at protesters, wounding some. An investigation is now under way.

The official Dutch police account

Social media is full of personal testimonies of what took place in the Netherlands’ second-largest city on Friday night but Facts4EU.Org sought the latest official version from the Rotterdam police. (Please note: The mainstream UK media are quoting two protesters shot. We have used the latest offical statement from the Rotterdam police, where they say the number is three.)

They said:

Photo credit: Rotterdam Police

“51 people were arrested during the major disturbances on Friday evening and night at Coolsingel in Rotterdam. About half of them were just under age. The rioters came from different parts of the country.

Three rioters were injured when they were hit by bullets. They are still in the hospital. The National Criminal Investigation Department always investigates when the police have fired, and also investigates whether the injuries were caused by police bullets.”

- Politie Netherlands, 20 Nov 2021 at 7:33pm, correct at 4am Sunday 21 Nov.

The City’s socialist mayor, Moroccan-born Ahmed Aboutaleb - a dual citizen of both the Netherlands and Morocco - approved the police request for the use of water cannon earlier in the evening but it seems that this was not enough for the authorities to gain control of the situation.

Facts4EU.Org has a video shot last night of a man being shot, purportedly by a police officer, and falling to the ground. Onlookers then rush to try to help the man. Since we cannot verify its authenticity at this stage we are not showing it here.

Protests all over the EU this weekend

In other cities around the EU mass protests also took place, with many tens of thousands of people involved. As far as we can tell there was no repeat of the extreme Rotterdam violence although smoke canisters were thrown in some places.

As ever the numbers involved in each location are impossible to state with certainty. However in the Austrian capital of Vienna alone it is estimated that as many as 50,000 took to the streets to protest the government’s draconian lockdown and compulsory vaccination policies.

Above: The beautiful city of Vienna

In Rotterdam, 53% of the population are of non-Dutch origins or have at least one parent born outside the country. However the police stated that the protesters had come from all over the Netherlands. This is a significant statement as Rotterdam is not typical of the rest of the country, in the same way that London is not typical of the rest of the United Kingdom. It seems that the violent protests that took place did not have their origins solely in the local issues affecting the city.

As infection rates and deaths in the EU soar, in Brexit Britain they are falling

Many other EU countries now appear to be on the brink of stepping up their own restrictions, as Covid infection and death rates continue to rise steeply in many parts of the bloc.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Covid infection rates per million, last four weeks

  • Austria: 1395 (+340% increase)
  • Netherlands: 1049 (+313% increase)
  • UK: 581 (-16% decrease)
  • Germany: 536 (+229% increase)

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge


This is not about vaccines, it's about freedoms

As we reported yesterday, the Austrian government has embarked on a vaccination and lockdown policy which is the most extreme in the European Union, and indeed in any western democracy.

So far Austria is the outlier in imposing a two-class system with effect in 10 weeks’ time from the end of January 2022, when unvaccinated people (around one-third of the population) will effectively be confined to their homes.

With other governments including that of Chancellor Angela Merkel either actively considering their own new lockdowns or in the process of implementing them, the key thing to watch will be the extent to which some other countries copy the Austrian model. It seems that everywhere the extent of the restrictions may be more severe.

In Holland for example, where the explosive scenes took place on the streets of Rotterdam on Friday night, the debate is raging over the moves between the so-called “G” versus “2G”, “2G+”, or “3G”. One of the key differences is whether unvaccinated people will be able to access normal services, such as bars, restaurants, and public transport, even if they have an up-to-date negative test result. It seems that only fully vaccinated people will be able to do so.

And still the EU says absolutely nothing

With people shot by police on the streets of Rotterdam, and extreme Covid lockdowns and measures against unvaccinated people now becoming mainstream, the usually vocal EU Commission has been… well, silent.

Not a peep out of Ursula von der Leyen about any of this. Not one word from the usually indignant EU Parliament. And nothing from the EU Council President Charles Michel, but then he has hardly proved to be a great communicator at the best of times.

One can only wonder, if Hungary’s Viktor Orban had announced the authoritarian measures which Austria’s Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday, would there perhaps have been some comment from the EU?

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[ Sources: Dutch national police | Austrian federal police | Johns Hopkins University/OWID | EU Commission ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sun 21 Nov 2021

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