EUROPE IN CRISIS: Anti-lockdown Protesters Clash With Cops

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Italian police clash with anti-lockdown protesters as violent street battles rage in Austria and Netherlands

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Milan and Rome to protest against the Green pass certificates, the vaccine passports required at the country’s restaurants, cinemas, theaters, stadiums, clubs, or gyms.

About four thousand unmasked protesters were seen at the Circus Maximus in Rome, chanting “Freedom” and “No Green pass,” while anti-vaxxers clashed with police at Piazza Duomo in Milan the Corriere reported.

Italian cops said that about sixty demonstrators were identified while added there were clashes during arrests, including a woman who bit a police officer.

It comes as the government is currently reviewing stricter measures for the unvaccinated as well as a push on the third dose amid Italy’s high infection rates.

There were 11,555 Covid-19 recorded on Saturday, the country’s worst figures since May, according to ANSA.

A number of protests against Covid-19 restrictions also took place in Switzerland, Croatia, Italy, and Northern Ireland on Saturday.

Meanwhile, anti-lockdown protesters in Vienna gathered to protest after the far-right opposition Freedom Party called for demonstrations and vowed to fight new Covid restrictions.

Protesters chanted “no to vaccination”, “enough is enough” and “down with the fascist dictatorship” and waved Austrian flags as they stream into Heroes’ Square.

It didn’t take long for the crowd – which swelled to about 35,000 people by mid-afternoon – to clash with police.

They said there had been 10 arrests for breaches of coronavirus restrictions and a ban on Nazi symbols.

It comes a day after Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced Austria would be plunged into a lockdown from Monday after Covid cases spiked to 1959.88 per 100,000 in the past fortnight.

Hours earlier, seven people were injured when Dutch police opened fire on anti-lockdown rioters who were setting streets ablaze.

Cops said they fired both “warning shots” and directly at protesters who were demonstrating against new lockdown measures in Rotterdam on Friday.

Anti-riot police also fired water cannon to disperse the violent crowd of protesters who began lighting fires and setting off fireworks in one of the port city’s main shopping districts.

The demonstrations comes a week after the Netherlands re-imposed a partial lockdown to curb surging Covid cases in the country.

Videos on social media appear to show a person being shot in Rotterdam.

One eyewitness – a press photographer – told De Telegraaf they saw shell casings “everywhere on the floor”.

Police spokesperson Patricia Wessels said: “We fired warning shots and there were also direct shots fired because the situation was life-threatening.

“We know that at least two people were wounded, probably as a result of the warning shots, but we need to investigate the exact causes further.”

The NL Times reported that a journalist was attacked on the street and local broadcaster Rijnmond said the reporter was beaten and his camera destroyed.

Protesters eventually dispersed leaving smouldering police cars and dozens of smashed bicycles in their wake, the AFP reports.

Photos in Dutch media showed at least one police car ablaze and another with a bicycle smashed through the windshield.

Several hundred people had gathered to voice opposition to government plans to restrict access to indoor venues to people who have a “corona pass”, showing they have been vaccinated or already recovered from an infection.

Police issued an emergency ordinance in Rotterdam, shutting down public transportation and ordering people to go home.

Water cannon were deployed and police on horseback carried out charges to disperse the crowds, police said.

Source:- Thesun

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