Netherlands rocked by third night of protests

Dutch police arrested at least 70 people on Monday after rioting across the country for the third year in a row.
In Rotterdam, anti-lockdown protesters set fire to a new night curfew and clashed with the police.
There were similar scenes in Amsterdam as well as in the smaller centers of Haarlem, Geleen and Den Bosch.
The curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. came into effect on Saturday evening to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
It's the first nationwide curfew in the country since World War II.
Many say this is not necessary as COVID-19 cases are falling in the Netherlands. The lowest number of cases was reported on Monday since December 1.
However, the government is concerned about a highly contagious UK variant of the spread of the disease.
The riots began over the weekend when protesters ransacked shops, started fires and clashed with police in several cities.
In one case, knives were thrown at the police and a COVID-19 test station burned down.
The events resulted in 240 arrests and thousands of fines for opposing the curfew.
On Monday before, Prime Minister Mark Rutte had condemned what he described as the "criminal violence" of the weekend:
"What we've seen has nothing to do with the fight for freedom. We didn't take all of these measures for fun, but because we are fighting the virus and it is the virus that is actually robbing our freedom."
Schools and non-essential shops in the Netherlands have been closed since mid-December after bars and restaurants closed two months earlier.
Video transcript
- [DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH LANGUAGE]
- Dutch police arrested at least 70 people on Monday after rioting across the country for the third consecutive year. In Rotterdam, anti-lockdown protesters set fire to a new curfew at night and clashed with the police. There were similar scenes in Amsterdam as well as in the smaller centers of Haarlem, Geleen and Den Bosch.
[Church bells ring]
The curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. came into effect on Saturday evening to contain the spread of the coronavirus. It's the first nationwide curfew in the country since World War II. Many say this is not necessary as cases of COVID-19 are declining in the Netherlands and the lowest number of new infections was reported on Monday since December 1st. However, the government is concerned about a highly contagious UK variant of the spread of the disease.
The riots began over the weekend when protesters ransacked shops, started fires and clashed with law enforcement agencies in several cities. In one case, knives were thrown at the police and a COVID-19 test station burned down. The events resulted in 240 arrests and thousands of fines were imposed for breaking the curfew. Prime Minister Mark Rutte had condemned the so-called criminal violence of the weekend on Monday.
MARK RUTTE: [SPEAKS NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE]
Interpreter: What we saw has nothing to do with the fight for freedom. We didn't take all of these measures for fun. We did this because we are fighting the virus and it is the virus that is robbing our freedom.
- Schools and non-essential shops in the Netherlands have been closed since mid-December after bars and restaurants closed two months earlier.

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