Timeline of the Dutch Anti-Curfew Riots 2021

From 23 January 2021, violence and unrest raged across the Netherlands for five nights after a nationwide curfew was introduced. COVID-19, lockdowns, virus mutations and curfews. How does all of this lead a usually ordered nation into anarchy? In order to explore this, A Powerhouse of Writing has compiled a timeline of all the important events relative to the recent supposed anti-curfew riots in the Netherlands.

Dutch rioters use bikes to block the roads in Eindhoven on 24 Jan 2021. Image source: Anadolu Agency

Timeline of Events:

  • September 2020

    A national curfew is put forth by the Outbreak Management Team (OMT). It is rejected by the House of Representatives.

  • November 2020

    British Variant of the coronavirus discovered.

  • 14 December 2020

    British Variant spreading more rapidly through the UK. Fears of containing it mount. The Netherlands returns to full lockdown.

  • End-December 2020

    British Variant of coronavirus found in the Netherlands.

    Source: RIVM

  • 12 January 2021

    Dutch lockdown extended until 9 February. PM Mark Rutte: “What we see coming out of Britain and Ireland is heart-breaking and alarming.”

    Source: Dutch News

  • 23 January 2021 (Saturday)

    A night-time curfew is introduced in the Netherlands between 9:00pm and 4:30am.

    Riots begin in the fishing village of Urk. A COVID-19 testing centre is set alight.

    Source: Irish Independent / Photo credit: PRONEWS

  • 24 January 2021 (Sunday)

    Riots spread to Amsterdam, Eindhoven, The Hague, Tilburg, Venlo, Enschede, Helmond and Roermond.

    Shops looted in Eindhoven and vehicles set on fire. In Enschede, there were attempts to vandalise hospital.

    Over 300 people arrested and 2,100 fines issued.

    Photo credit: AFP

  • 25 January 2021 (Monday)

    Looting and vandalising in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Riots spread to cities of Den Bosch, Zwolle, Amersfoort, Alkmaar, Hoorn, Gouda, Haarlem, and Veenendaal. Cars burned and police attacked.

    More than 180 people arrested.

    Source: The Guardian

  • 26 January 2021 (Tuesday)

    An emergency decree is issued for the night in Den Bosch, Capelle aan den Ijssel, Sittard-Geleen and Stein, and until 10 February in Beek and Echt-Susteren. Many other regions issue emergency orders (one step below decree in law).

    Riots less severe than previous nights: small riots in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Hilversum, some disturbances in The Hague, Schijndel and Julianadorp.

    Source: NL Times

  • 27 January 2021 (Wednesday)

    No major riots. small disturbances in The Hague and Rotterdam.

    A theatre in Plaswijckpark, a theme park in Rotterdam, was destroyed by arson.

    Source: NL Times

  • 28 January 2021 (Thursday)

    Two teens (14 and 15) arrested for the Rotterdam Plaswijckpark fire.

    Source: EN24 News

For now, order seems to have been restored in the Netherlands. Politicians on all sides of the government have condemned the rioters with Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb addressing them directly in a video. He promised a police crack down on any further unrest, and outlined the contrast between the heroes who rebuilt the city after the Rotterdam Blitz and those currently destroying it.

Next, the Powerhouse of Writing blog will take a look at the background behind the anti-curfew riots in the Netherlands, so stay posted. Follow the blog for further updates.

Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, addressing anti-curfew rioters, 2021.