Over the weekend, Europeans protested against the introduction of additional measures, including isolation. Large rallies and mass demonstrations have taken place in many countries, and outbreaks of violence have not been avoided.
In Europe, the fourth, and in some places already the fifth, wave of the coronavirus pandemic is raging. The number of new infections is growing rapidly everywhere, and despite the massive vaccination, the death toll has decreased slightly.
The authorities say that the epidemic situation in the Old World may deteriorate significantly in the near future. For example, Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, warns that if the European authorities do not take drastic measures, then the pandemic will claim the lives of another half a million Europeans over the winter.
The authorities everywhere are tightening the fight against the virus, but freedom-loving Europeans are dissatisfied with the restrictions on their rights and freedoms, and are grumbling louder against the authoritarian actions of their governments. Europeans are especially outraged by the widespread cancellation of Christmas festivals and bazaars, and the gloomy prospect of spending Christmas and New Year’s holidays at home.
In Rome, Saturday’s mass demonstration impressed international media, while the New York Times replayed television footage from the Italian capital of impressive numbers of protesters outside the Colosseum.
In the Netherlands, clashes between protesters and police resumed on Saturday and Sunday, when Dutch police used water cannons to disperse protesters. The center of the protests was Rotterdam, where protesters against the new tough restrictions actively clashed with the police. According to the Kingdom’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, fifty especially active demonstrators were arrested over the night from Friday to Saturday. Seven people were injured by firearms used against the demonstrators by the police. There are casualties among the police, the authorities say.
Law enforcement officers also had to use tear gas and water cannons against protesters, who pelted them with stones and burned cars. There have not been such powerful protests against restrictions in the Netherlands since January 2021. As a result of a stormy weekend, the kingdom’s government has deployed additional law enforcement forces in three provinces, including mounted police and police with dogs.
Large demonstrations took place in Vienna. Not far from the Chancellery of Austrian Federal Chancellor Alexander Schalenberg and the residence of President Alexander Van der Bellen, on Vienna’s Heldenplatz square and adjacent streets, tens of thousands of metropolitan residents and Austrians discontented with the decisive actions of the authorities gathered from all over the country.
?? After the enormous protest yesterday in Vienna, there are thousands and thousands of people on the streets again today in Austria. This is Linz. pic.twitter.com/JnSmI16yMk
– Anonymous UK Citizen (@AnonCitizenUK) November 21, 2021
In total, according to the city police department, about 35 thousand people took part in the protests in Vienna. Mostly they behaved calmly, but, of course, it was not without the obligatory throwing of stones, flares and bottles at the guards. The police detained about a dozen of the most active demonstrators.
Many Protestants chanted anti-government and anti-vaccine slogans and carried posters, including the words: “In 1938 it all started exactly the same!” Some of the demonstrators had yellow stars of David painted on their clothes with the word “Unvaccinated.” In Austria, the use of Nazi symbols, by the way, is prohibited by law.
In Italy, restrictions have been protesting for weeks on weekends. Over the weekend, particularly large demonstrations took place in Rome and Milan.
The protest actions, in which tens of thousands of people took part, were held on Sunday and in the center of the united Europe – Brussels. Just like in the neighboring Netherlands, it all started with peaceful demonstrations and ended with clashes with the police.
At the protests in Brussels, the police used gas, and the demonstrators responded by building barricades. In several cities in the Netherlands, residents burned fires in the streets and threw stones and fires at law enforcement officers.
– California ??? (@OldPrague) November 21, 2021
A week ago, catering and grocery stores in the Netherlands were obliged to close at eight in the evening, and stores with non-essential goods at six. The government intends to allocate almost one and a half billion euros to help entrepreneurs who will be affected by the new measures
Law enforcement officers in neighboring Croatia had to work hard to restrain militant demonstrators in Zagreb.