KOZP started the demonstration with about fifteen people on the Vrijthof. Hundreds of counter-protesters appeared to be on the move. The police took the anti-racism activists to another place in Maastricht to calm things down. The demonstration continued on the Maaskade, but there, too, there were confrontations with counter-protesters. After an hour, KOZP stopped the demonstration of its own accord. The group was taken to a safe place outside the city under police protection.
According to Mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake, the police, municipality and judiciary received signals in the course of Saturday that a large group of counter-protesters would come. Subsequently, the deployment of the police was scaled up on Sunday. The mobile unit (ME) had to intervene repeatedly, including with dogs and horses. The riot police formed a cordon around the KOZP activists to keep counter-protesters away. They threw fireworks and stones at the police. The riots, allegedly involving hooligans, only subsided after KOZP was deported from the city center and it started to rain.
‘This cannot be justified’
Mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake of Maastricht said afterwards that she found it regrettable that the police had to intervene. “Demonstration is a fundamental right, so a demonstration cannot simply be prohibited. It is our duty to protect that fundamental right, even in this Corona time, because demonstrations are exceptions. It is hard to justify people who wanted to disrupt the demonstration. ”
Among the counter-protesters were supporters of the football club MVV. Football club MVV says it is not aware of the situation. “We don’t welcome it, especially when there is violence, but as a club we have no control over what people are doing outside our stadium. The demonstration did not take place in MVV time. We leave it to the judiciary to decide whether these people have done something wrong, ”said a spokesman. “If you disagree with something, feel free to let us know. Use your common sense and talk to each other. ”
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