The Dutch government said it would not lift the curfew, after a third night of violent protests against increasing restrictions across the country to curb the outbreak of the Corona epidemic.
Shops were looted in Rotterdam and other cities, and Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said, “Those who did these things are rums.” More than 180 people were arrested.
The Dutch police chief said the riots were no longer related to the “basic right to demonstrate”.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, “The criminal violence must stop.
Shopkeepers in Rotterdam, Den Bosch and other cities spent Tuesday morning cleaning up the rubble following the Monday night violence.
Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Abu Talib, said in a speech to the “impudent thieves” who caused the damage: “Does it feel good that you helped destroy your city? Wake up next to you with a bag full of stolen things?”
A night curfew was imposed from 21:00 (20:00 GMT) until 04:30 last Saturday to stop the spread of the virus.
Those caught violating the ban face a fine of € 95 (£ 84).
Justice Minister Fred Graberhuis said they would not “give in to a few idiots”.
The Netherlands has nearly 1 million confirmed cases of the Covid virus since the start of the outbreak, with more than 13,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
What happened Monday night
Riot police clashed with protesters in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Amersfoort, Den Bosch, Alvin and Helmond.
Some of the worst unrest took place in south Rotterdam, where police said 10 officers were injured. Most of the rioters were boys or young men, and the mayor of Amsterdam pleaded with parents to keep the youths in their homes.
Some streets in The Hague were set on fire, as policemen on their bicycles tried to drive away small groups of men who had thrown stones and fireworks.
In Den Bosch, in the south, rioters lit fireworks, smashed windows, looted stores and overturned cars.
A woman from the town told Dutch Radio that masked young men caused acts of vandalism in the city center. “I saw shattered windows and fireworks explode. It’s really crazy, just like we were in a war zone,” she said.
Roads to Den Bosch were closed to prevent people from joining the rioters, and Mayor Jack Makers imposed an emergency order banning gatherings on Tuesday.
Logic’s attorney general, Helen Rutgers, urged parents to ensure teens stay home.
In some southern cities, such as Maastricht and Breda, football fans marched through the middle of the tide promising to protect them from the rioters. Former international footballer Robin van Persie appealed to people in Rotterdam to keep our “beautiful city” intact.
How did the Netherlands respond?
There was a feeling of shock at the violence. And in Rotterdam, where police used water cannons against rioters, the mayor signed an emergency decree, giving police broader powers of arrest.
The Prime Minister said that the police obtained the full support of the government: “The riots have nothing to do with protest or the struggle for freedom.”
Emra Coker, a store owner in Rotterdam, said he could not describe what he saw. “How could this happen in the Netherlands?” Coker asked. The Minister of Justice said he challenges anyone to explain the relationship of shop looting to the Coronavirus.
In Den Bosch, Mikey Newfangles said the damage to her store was catastrophic and exceeded thousands of euros. “Everything is ruined. I watched the videos, it was a complete invasion. There must have been 40 people in our store,” she said.