Civil society in the Netherlands is under immense strain amid rolling protests against law enforcement and coronavirus lockdowns, prompting a police union to warn the situation may be spiraling beyond the government's control.
For weeks, officers have been under fire from Black Lives Matter protesters, whose overarching international objectives include radical transformation or complete abolition of law enforcement agencies.
"Whatever we do, there is always someone who thinks it should have been different," National Police chief Henk van Essen told De Telegraaf.
"We acted too softly. Or too harshly. An opinion about our performance is quickly passed, often on the basis of fragmentary images. That affects me. It does no justice to my police officers. To our police officers."
Van Essen says he is tired of "constant bashing" of law enforcement, reporting that many officers have become demoralized and may resign from their positions.
Gerrit van de Kamp, chairman of the Dutch police union ACP, says there are concerns the government is "losing their grip on society completely."
Their comments come after 400 demonstrators were arrested in The Hague at a rally against coronavirus lockdowns and social distancing rules which have devastated economies and quality of life across most of Europe.
Police have been accused of the suppressing the rally with an overwhelming presence and aggressive tactics, while treating Black Lives Matter protests much more sympathetically – with some officers even reportedly participating in the 'anti-racism' demos.
A day before pic.twitter.com/oEDQiOJleV— Alessandro Dinalli 🇧🇷 (@alemdi) June 21, 2020
Some reports indicate authorities may have steered a group of rowdy football hooligans and agitators to the location of the anti-lockdown protest in order to create unrest at the scene and justify a forceful crackdown.
“Strikingly enough, the police were the first ones present at the Malieveld. Contrary to the BLM protest of the day before where hardly any police were present, it was now blacked out by the cops,” SCEPTR reports. “As can be seen on images, the protest went peacefully. The fact that the police suddenly tweeted that ‘the atmosphere is changing’ was therefore met with much confusion among those present.”
“After this the police started to use heavier means such as horses, water cannons and clubs. Many demonstrators therefore left the field. The last 400 stragglers were detained and arrested by officers.”
Politie slaat ex-politieagent en verjaagt senioren. pic.twitter.com/McYGhwnpUs— Gele Hesjes NL (@GeLeHesjesNL) June 21, 2020
Zo gaat de staat om met Nederlanders en onze oudere mensen; ze slaan ze met stokken, bestralen ze met waterkanonnen & maken een oma die haar hond aan het uitlaten is aan het huilen.— Camille 🍈 (@CamilleMeloen) June 21, 2020
De reactie op de vorige 5 "BLM"-protesten was echter heel anders. pic.twitter.com/ipEiix0pGV
Uninvolved passersby were reportedly caught up in an escalation of force by riot police, with one traumatized woman being sprayed by a water cannon while walking her dog.
Alex Jones discusses the ramifications of the imminent second lockdown of the American economy.
(PHOTO: Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst