The Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema would have moved the demonstration on the Dam or spread it over several places if she had known that thousands of people would come to it. She writes that in a letter that was sent to the city council on Tuesday evening.
“If the triangle (mayor, police and judiciary) had information that would show that more people would come to the demonstration on Dam Square, the triangle would of course have been taken and as usual taken measures,” the letter states.
On Monday evening, some 5,000 protesters came to Dam Square to protest racism and police brutality. It was not possible to keep a distance of 1.5 meters. Halsema chose not to intervene, because “acting could lead to escalation, violence, panic and oppression”. She got a lot critical, from both coalition and opposition parties in the Amsterdam city council.
The organization and the police had estimated that 250 to 300 protesters would come to Dam Square. “In retrospect, we conclude that our information position was not good. The triangle did not have realistic numbers. That should improve in the future. The square filled unexpectedly and quickly with protesters, who consciously took a health risk. For themselves and for others. We deeply regret this “, Halsema writes on behalf of the triangle.
Halsema must account for her actions on Wednesday in an urgent debate requested by several parties in the Amsterdam city council. Opposition parties VVD and Forum for Democracy threatened to table a vote of no confidence against the mayor.
Unrest during US protests
About five thousand people were eventually present at the protest in Amsterdam. The reason for this was the death of the black American George Floyd. He died in Minneapolis last week during his arrest.
Many demonstrations have also been organized in other countries. In several American cities things got restless during protests. Among other things, fires were set up and shops looted.
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