987 new infections were recorded last week, nearly double the week before
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Omrop Fyrslân, Leeuwarden played host to a meeting of the mindless this weekend, as around 250 people protested against social distancing regulations. The demonstration, called “Together back to normal” (samen terug naar normal) took place next to the Oldehove, and begun around fifteen minutes late.
Perhaps not unexpectedly, various people joining the protest did not uphold social distancing or wear face masks. Under pressure from gemeente workers, more people were forced to uphold social distancing, which wasn’t well received by some people attending.
Though the 1.5-metre regulation was in general not kept to, luckily there were not enough people at the demonstration to warrant any police involvement. A maximum of 750 people can be on the Oldehoofsterkerkhof at one time and uphold social distancing. It is difficult to get an accurate measure of the number of people protesting, as the Oldehoofsterkerkhof is a popular place to visit in Leeuwarden, and the weekly koopzondag shopping day was also in full swing. Between 250 and 300 people reportedly turned up; with around ten police and gemeente officers keeping an eye on proceedings.
Those invited to speak to the demonstration included an ‘anti-vaxxer’, who told the crowd that a vaccine had caused her son to be hospitalised (no evidence was provided to the claim). The ‘red thread’ running through most of the speeches was that those speaking felt that they were not listened to by the government.
Tjerk de Haan, another speaker, highlighted his delight that the press were present at the protest. “The media must learn to speak the truth, and do research themselves. Let our group, that are here today, tell their story and speak against the state that every day tells stories, fables, and mis-happenings.”
Organisers then led the attendees on a march through the city, hilariously referred to as the ‘freedom march’ (‘vrijheidstocht’). Unsurprisingly, not everyone in the city centre was happy with the protest. Harm van der Meer, from Noardburgum, happened to be visiting Leeuwarden: “In the end, it doesn’t seem to be anything. We need to keep up the regulations, and now there are a few people that don’t seem to be doing that. I find it awful. You see what’s happening in Brabant and Zeeland, and that could also happen here. They have no understanding [of that].”
Meanwhile, the RIVM has confirmed that 987 people had confirmed Coronavirus infections last week, nearly double the previous week’s figure of 534. The so-called ‘R-rate’ (the number of people the average infected person can go on to infect themselves) has now hit 1.29, the first time since March that it has gone over 1. The virus seems to be spreading amongst ‘clusters’, says the RIVM, with the provinces of Noord Brabant and Limburg suffering most heavily.