A pro-Palestine demonstration at Groningen Central Station turned turbulent on Thursday early evening. Initially, there was little trouble, until the police ordered the demonstrators to leave. That led to resistance and scuffles, whereupon the police arrested two demonstrators.
Around 50 to 60 demonstrators had gathered at Groningen Central Station at 6 p.m. for a sit-in to express their solidarity with the people in Gaza.
During the sit-in, demonstrators chanted slogans in English and Arabic, including ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ ‘There’s only one solution,’ and ‘Israel is a terrorist.’ The protest had been incident-free until approximately ten officers asked the demonstrators to disperse, prompting a change in the atmosphere.
Some of the demonstrators resisted, leading to physical altercations between the police and a few protestors. “One man attacked the officers and attempted to strike an officer,” Vincent, an eyewitness to the entire spectacle, told RTV Noord. “The man was subsequently brought to the ground and arrested.” The eyewitness described the atmosphere during the scuffles as “aggressive and unpleasant.”
Although some demonstrators slowly moved towards the station exit, a few continued to resist and shout slogans in support of Palestine. A woman repeatedly insulted the police, labeling them as terrorists. Ignoring warnings, she, too, was handcuffed, witnessed by multiple bystanders. After a few more slogans were chanted, calm was restored at the station just after 7 p.m.
A police spokesperson confirmed that two individuals were indeed arrested in the aftermath of the demonstration for insulting an official on duty.