Dutch police detain 240 anti-lockdown protests

Dutch police clashed with protestors demonstrating against coronavirus rules across the Netherlands on Sunday. Local media reported at least 240 people were detained nationwide.

In central Amsterdam officers unleashed a water cannon after a row of mounted police and canine units moved in on a rally there with protesters throwing stones and fireworks, with banners that said "stop the lockdown."

Thirty-six year old Melissa spoke to Reuters in downtown Amsterdam.

"I do not agree with the actual politics in the Netherlands, the restrictions of freedom. The elderly are vulnerable, but there are also many young people who are vulnerable. And young people are the future of this country for me."

Restaurant owners had organized the Amsterdam protest on the second day of tougher limits including a nightly curfew for the first time since World War II.

Fearing a riot or a disease-spreading event, the Mayor designated the Museum square as a "high-risk zone" and gave police the power to pre-emptively frisk people for weapons.

According to the national broadcaster, it was one of at least 10 cities where riot police had been deployed.

It also said vehicles had been set on fire and there were reports of rioters looting stores.

Schools and non-essential shops have been shut since mid-December, following the closure of bars and restaurants two months earlier.

Overall, new infections in the country have been declining for a month, and fell again on Sunday.