Amid spiking coronavirus cases, Austria announced on Friday that it would implement a full national lockdown, and would also legislate a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all eligible citizens – the first of its kind in a Western nation. Austria is one of several European countries to dictate more stringent COVID-19 restrictions as a fourth coronavirus wave sweeps the continent. Following the introduction of rigid regulations, protests and riots exploded across Europe.
Three people were hospitalized late Friday after police opened fire on lockdown protesters in downtown Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Rioters reportedly torched cars, launched fireworks, and attacked police. Police attempted to control the crowd with water cannons. Dutch police said that 51 people were arrested during the demonstration against the new COVID-19 restrictions.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb called the riot an "orgy of violence."
Local political party Leefbaar Rotterdam condemned the violence, "The center of our beautiful city has this evening transformed into a war zone," it said. "Rotterdam is a city where you can disagree with things that happen but violence is never, never, the solution."
NOW - Violent protests against Covid-restrictions in #Rotterdam, Netherlands.pic.twitter.com/xCTyqiy609— Disclose.tv (@Disclose.tv) 1637354016
Protests turned violent in the Netherlands as crowds in Rotterdam marched against government plans to make a 'coronavirus pass' mandatory for some indoor venues https://reut.rs/3CCSy4d\u00a0pic.twitter.com/N3haRtyRJQ— Reuters (@Reuters) 1637406720
Rioting broke out in Rotterdam as the Netherlands government announced plans to restrict the country's coronavirus pass system to only people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. https://abcn.ws/3oL1dNc\u00a0pic.twitter.com/MNOlPnnLhl— ABC News (@ABC News) 1637423224
The protests continued in the Netherlands on Saturday, when rioters set fires in Hague.
#Netherlands The Haguepic.twitter.com/POZaZlQSNp— Nicole Elisei (@Nicole Elisei) 1637444355
In Austria's capital of Vienna, tens of thousands marched against the draconian COVID-19 restrictions.
One of the largest protests in Vienna history today to stop their full lockdown and mandatory \u201cget the jab or go to jail\u201d law.pic.twitter.com/N87zkDENZo— Aaron Ginn (@Aaron Ginn) 1637420388
Massive protest in Vienna, Austria today against the new lockdown, plus mandatory vaccinations which the tyrannical Austrian government plans to implement starting in February.pic.twitter.com/bOjoBbjj5y— Brittany Sellner (@Brittany Sellner) 1637411052
In Italy, thousands of Roman protesters rallied against the country's "Green Pass" – the country's certificate of COVID-19 vaccination required to go into workplaces, restaurants, gyms, theaters, and sports venues.
NEW Thousands gather in Rome, Italy in protest against country\u2019s health passpic.twitter.com/hqGjnGRYZb— Insider Paper (@Insider Paper) 1637450332
In Croatia, thousands gathered in the capital of Zagreb to demonstrate against the government possibly introducing a COVID-19 vaccine pass that would be needed to enter stores, restaurants, gyms, and cinemas.
Croatia against Covid pass.pic.twitter.com/Mw41pSb68X— Ivan Vilibor Sin\u010di\u0107 MEP (@Ivan Vilibor Sin\u010di\u0107 MEP) 1637424471
Croatiapic.twitter.com/Xz7JbauBEh— lucy johnston (@lucy johnston) 1637444592
In Denmark, the government is considering reinstituting COVID-19 restrictions that they just lifted in September. Protesters railed against the potential COVID-19 orders.
Denmark stands up with the rest of Europe tonight to call for an end to lockdowns and mandates.pic.twitter.com/dlVmI7aqTC— Aaron Ginn (@Aaron Ginn) 1637451286