The municipality of Nijmegen has banned the demonstration of the Netherlands in Resistance action group. Mayor Hubert Bruls decided that Friday after consultation with the police, the judiciary and the GGD. Bruls fears a “serious risk of disruption of public order and security”. He also thinks that the police would not be able to enforce the corona measures during the protest.
Initially, according to the municipality, about three thousand demonstrators wanted to hold a protest march through shopping and catering streets and then gather on the Grote Markt in Nijmegen. In addition to the Netherlands in Resistance, other groups would also like to join, such as football hooligans. They would “not be out for peaceful demonstrations”, but for “a confrontation with other groups or the police”, according to the municipality. Bruls says he should ban the demonstration “with pain in the democratic heart”.
The Nijmegen city council states that the protection of residents, visitors, entrepreneurs and their property has come under pressure because of the fear of riots. The entire municipality has been designated as a security risk area: groups and persons can be searched, refused and detained there. The police can also search bags and vehicles.
Last month things got out of hand in Nijmegen when NEC lost the Gelderse derby 0-1 to Vitesse. After the game, riots broke out around the stadium: dozens of rioters attacked the police with stones and sticks. They also demolished a police car and several police horses were injured. Fifty stadium bans have been handed out in response to the riots. On match day itself, the police had already arrested 22 rioters.
The fear of riots is not only in Nijmegen. An emergency ordinance has also been in place in the three Limburg municipalities of Sittard-Geleen, Stein and Beek since Friday afternoon in effect. This measure was taken because of threatening reports of violence and vandalism on social media. According to the emergency ordinance, gatherings are prohibited in the aforementioned places. People are also not allowed to cover their faces and the police can carry out preventive searches.
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