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21 Nov 2021

Protests Erupt in Europe with New Covid-19 Restrictions

The Index Today

Protests are erupting across Europe as new covid-19 restrictions are put in place to prevent another upsurge.

Netherlands, Italy and Austria saw protests on Saturday as hundreds of people took to the streets to oppose the restrictions. Violence ensued as the police was brought in to arrest people and fire warning shots. Water cannons were also used control the violent rioters who burned cars and fireworks.

According to the Dutch police force, order was restored close to midnight after more arrests were made to control the damage. The National Criminal Investigation Department is currently looking into casualties caused by bullets and to determine the source. During a live blog, the police said, “The atmosphere quickly became grim.” Images on Austria’s populist Freedom Party website were live streamed, showing hundreds of unmasked protestors outside Heldenplatz. Many were seen holding signs and banners while others were heard chanting antigovernment slogans.

Vaccination centers across Austria reported an increase in turnout, with over 30,000 vaccinations recorded in a single day. The government announced to place new covid curbs and lockdowns lasting 20 days. Austria will be the first European country to make vaccines mandatory by February. Conservative Chancellor Alexander Schulenburg said during a televised press conference, “Despite months of campaigning and discussion, we have not managed to convince enough people to get vaccinated.”

Italy has also seen a rise in protests as it passed a mandate to make vaccine a requirement for workplaces. Civilians are currently banned from protesting against the new vaccine requirements. The resurgence in coronavirus infections throughout Europe has started to strain healthcare systems. Governments are implementing lockdowns to prevent another covid wave.

©Photo: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

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