News World News

Dutch police clash with anti-lockdown protesters day before election

Police clash with demonstrators during a protest against coronavirus restrictions in The Hague [Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters]
Police clash with demonstrators during a protest against coronavirus restrictions in The Hague [Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters]

dpa/GNA – An anti-lockdown demonstration in The Hague turned violent on Sunday as police clashed with hundreds of protesters the day before the Netherlands is due to begin a historic three-day general election.

Dutch police said they arrested around 20 people, used water cannon on protesters and stopped thousands from taking part in a demonstration after participants refused to adhere to rules aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

According to police, some demonstrators attacked officers with fireworks, while others with an attack dog harassed an officer and kicked a police dog. One officer also fired a warning shot.

Several thousand people had joined a protest against lockdown measures in a central square in The Hague in the afternoon, despite only 200 people having been cleared to take part.

Demonstrators refused to follow police orders to leave the square, after which police had cleared the area.

The Netherlands is set to begin its first-ever vote spread out over three days on Monday as part of a historic poll designed to avoid crowding during the country’s ongoing lockdown.