WATCH police descend on massive party over Covid-19 rules
Police raided and shut down an illegal rave in the Netherlands on New Year’s Day, with the local mayor calling it inappropriate to hold the event as the rest of the country follows strict Covid-19 restrictions.
Officers dressed in riot gear broke up the rave at an abandoned factory in the small town of Rijswijk on Saturday, ordering attendees to leave and seizing equipment and vehicles. At least three people were reportedly arrested for disobeying police orders and driving under the influence.
The event drew a crowd of hundreds – despite the fact that Dutch coronavirus restrictions currently prohibit large events such as concerts and festivals – and attendees allegedly came from as far as France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.
Party in Rijswijk! Onze fotograaf William Hoogteyling klom op een trapje pic.twitter.com/WS4vSItPkj— Niek Opten (@NiekOpten) January 1, 2022
Illegaal tecnofeest in oude steenfabriek bij Rijswijk (Gld) gaat nog even door. pic.twitter.com/re6hlzNreJ— Niek Opten (@NiekOpten) January 1, 2022
Footage of the raid showed police officers using drones to map the event and ushering attendees out of the area.
Some local residents took issue with the police dragging their feet, as the party had been going on since New Year’s Eve.
“This is an illegal party, so it is prohibited. Moreover, it is not appropriate in the corona crisis. The measures apply to everyone!” Buren Mayor Josan Meijers said on Saturday, indicating that fines would be given to attendees.
Proponents of coronavirus restrictions on social media also questioned why more wasn’t done to prevent the rave in the first place.
“If all these foreigners knew where to find it, then the Dutch would know about it too, wouldn't they?” one person tweeted, while another protested that the authorities “know where to find me if my tail light is broken,” but “all these people get away with this.”