A few thousand demonstrators at the Malieveld in The Hague and hundreds of demonstrators at the Grote Markt in Groningen protested peacefully on Tuesday evening against racism and anti-black violence. The activists at both locations followed the one and a half meter distance rule related to the coronavirus.
The demonstrations started at around 6:00 PM and ended at around 7:30 PM.
According to a spokesman for the municipality of The Hague, the demonstration on the Malieveld was "orderly, quiet and in a good atmosphere". After the demonstration, participants did not all leave the site at the same time, as agreed with the municipality. Demonstrators stayed in small groups and kept an appropriate distance, the spokeswoman said.
The municipality of Groningen allowed a maximum of eight hundred protesters in advance. It is still unclear how many protesters attended the so-called 'sit-in', a seated protest. Dagblad van het Noorden , however, writes that between 1,000 and 1,500 people gathered.
The protests were triggered by the death of black American George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. Anti-racism demonstrations are also taking place in other U.S. cities and in other countries, using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
Municipalities made prior arrangements with protesters
It was agreed in advance that all demonstrators should keep a distance of 1.5 meters from each other. The limitation of a maximum of thirty participants has no longer applied since 1 June.
Initially, the demonstration would take place in The Hague on the adjacent Koekamp, but according to the municipality, the one and a half meter measure could not be maintained. The location was therefore moved to the Malieveld.
The municipality had placed signs to remind people of the corona measures and flew a drone over the Malieveld to keep an eye on the distance. Walking routes were also marked and one-way traffic applied.
In Groningen, markings indicated where demonstrators were allowed to sit to keep a distance of 1.5 meters. Each demonstrator had to wear a face mask. Both municipalities had placed the responsibility for observing the corona measures on the organizers of the protests.
Anti-racism demonstrations in the Netherlands
Demonstrators at the Malieveld in The Hague. © Pro Shots
Many attendees brought home-made signs, which mainly read calls to action against racism. © Pro Shots
Many protesters also put a clenched fist in the air. Also, almost all attendees are going to sit on one knee, as was done earlier this week by protesters in several American cities honoring victims of police brutality, as well as by officers apologizing for it. © Pro Shots
The protest in Groningen on the Grote Markt. © Pro Shots
Demonstrators in Groningen sit on the floor during a so-called sit-in. © Pro Shots
A demonstrator in Groningen holds a sign with the text: "I can't breath". Those were the last words of George Floyd in Minneapolis and it's the slogan of the Black Lives Matter movement. © GIC.nl/Matthijs van Houten
More than 5,000 people attended the protest on Whit Monday in Amsterdam, while a number of 250 to 300 demonstrators were announced. © Pro Shots
During the anti-racism demonstration on the Dam in Amsterdam on Monday, people did not comply with the one and a half meter rule because of the crowds. © Pro Shots
Criticism after demonstration in Amsterdam
During the anti-racism demonstration on Dam Square in Amsterdam on Monday, people did not comply with the one and a half measures because of the crowds. Mayor Femke Halsema was criticized a lot because she nevertheless allowed the demonstration to continue.
More than 5,000 people attended the demonstration in Amsterdam, while a number of 250 to 300 demonstrators were announced.
A demonstration will also be held in Rotterdam on Wednesday. Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said that no more than eighty protesters are allowed on Schouwburgplein. Campaigners in Utrecht submitted an application for a demonstration on Friday.
See also: Halsema does not think about stepping down after criticism of action during protest