January 24, 2021

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Haarlem mayor stricter during protests

Haarlem mayor stricter during protests


Photo: ANP

The mayor of Haarlem, Jos Wienen, will tighten the rules for demonstrations. He hopes this will prevent protests like that of Women for Freedom last Sunday from becoming undesirable “festival-like” features. “It’s sad and bad that people don’t obey the rules,” Wienen told De kup. Music is no longer an option and is enforced more strictly.

Shortly after noon on Sunday, the Haarlem Flea Field was filled with activists opposed to the Cabinet’s corona measures. According to De kup, there were around 1,750 men on the road at the busiest moment. They kept too little distance from each other. “When I later look at how something like this works in practice and how music was played, I think that this poses a risk to the public,” said the mayor.

The community intervened and the event had to end around 3:00 p.m. “Demonstration is a basic democratic right and that will remain intact in the Corona era, even for people who are looking for borders,” says Wienen. According to the mayor, good arrangements were made in advance with the organizers. For example, on behalf of Women for Freedom, about fifty “inspectors” went to the construction site to point out the rules to those present. Since it was an outdoor activity, mouth masks were not mandatory.

The event was “leisurely” until the demonstrators repeatedly went wrong. “The organization announced the rules from the podium several times. This had an impact, but was only heard briefly. It has been known for quite some time that it went well in general. “After the fourth warning, according to Wienen, who was not present at the event, the measure was full. “Most people left immediately, except for a small group of people dancing.”

The mayor does not know how many police officers and enforcement officers were present at the event to keep an eye on things. “As far as I know, no fines have been imposed.”