Written by : Monica Yelinyan
On 1 June there was a demonstration in Amsterdam on the Dam square. This was an anti-racism protest as a result of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police on 25 May in the United States.
The demonstration was very crowded, an estimated 5000 people were gathered between the palace on Dam Square and the national monument. Everybody stood close together without taking into account the 1.5m distance arrangement. Minister Grapperhaus of Justice and Security called the images of the demonstration on the Dam painful to see. ‘In these times in which we, as a society, do everything we can to keep the coronavirus under control, this is really out of bounds.’
The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, did not intervene in the demonstration in which the rules concerning the coronavirus were not taken into account. She walked proudly among the demonstrators without a mask and without taking the one and a half meter regulation into account. This caused a lot of criticism and anger from the population. Everyone sticks neatly to the measures that have been taken, but at this demonstration it is all overlooked. Among others business owners who have to stand between the tables with a yardstick so that they can abide by the rules, became furious. They had to endure great losses during the corona virus and are now doing everything they can to get back on their feet again, but that they are being tipped on the fingers when they cannot keep the one and a half meter. This is unfair and irresponsible. Halsema should have intervened, same way that was done during the protests against the lockdown. The protesters against the lockdown were put in vans and taken away because they didn't obey the rules.
Femke Halsema's actions caused a huge legal inequality. Why does a business owner get a ticket, but is Halsema allowed to show off her virtues at a demonstration? Why is Black Lives Matter allowed to demonstrate, but the anti-lockdown demonstrators are not?