By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent
At least 25,000 protestors rallied against the coronavirus entry pass required to visit public venues and perceived mounting government pressure on people to get vaccinated.
“We fight for new, good, and honest politics, which seems difficult to come by lately,” said organizer Michel Reijinga said.
“The introduction of the medical passport and the related QR-code [on mobile phones] are the cherries on top from the already scandalously extreme coronavirus measures. This must stop,” Reijinga stressed.
However, critics said the protest was overshadowed by a gallows pole appearing on Dam Square.
Police investigated whether the pole was a call for violence against Minister Hugo de Jonge, responsible for the coronavirus policies.
Amsterdam politicians also complained about several protestors carrying the Nazi-era yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear.
Some protestors compare the current banning of unvaccinated people from venues with limitations Jewish people endured during the Nazi era.
Sunday’s protest came shortly after Mona Keijzer was sacked as state secretary of economic affairs in the Dutch government for criticizing the corona admissions pass.
She commented in remarks published Saturday, September 25, when the document showing someone’s vaccination or immunity status came into effect.
Keijzer told De Telegraaf (The Telegraph) newspaper it was “clear to me that it becomes increasingly difficult to explain why you have to show a proof of vaccination in one place, but not the other.”
She added: “Which makes me think: are we just going to stick to this course, or are we going to organize ourselves properly?”
Opponents of these measures gathering Sunday at Amsterdam’s Dam Square shared those views.
Protestors, many carrying yellow umbrellas, balloons with red hearts, and upside-down Dutch flags, marched from the Dam Square some 5 kilometers (3 miles) to the center.
More than 70 organizations joined the music-rich protest in the Dutch capital, according to organizer Reijinga.
He was involved in several protests against the coronavirus measures, sometimes held as “coffee drinking” to avoid a police crackdown on “unauthorized” protests.
Authorities say more than 18,000 people died of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, home to more than 17 million people.
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