From the beginning there was a relaxed atmosphere on the Malieveld. Many protesters carried banners, signs with slogans and flags. They often also performed happily. While speeches were being held on a stage, people were having a picnic on the edge of the field. Willem Engel, one of the driving forces behind Virus Madness, stated from the podium that the government’s policy ‘is not aimed at protecting people’. The police were present with many people. But the officers had to do almost nothing: they often kept watching from a distance.
It is not the first time on and around the Malieveld in The Hague to demonstrate against the Corona measures. Virus madness also wanted to demonstrate on June 21 in The Hague. The municipality banned this because too many participants were expected on the Malieveld and there was a fear of ‘disorder’. The judge agreed with the municipality. Nevertheless, a number of protesters appeared on the Malieveld on that day. Initially, that protest seemed to go smoothly. Later it got out of hand. The mobile unit then carried out multiple charges.
A week later, on June 28, Virus Madness wanted to demonstrate again on the Malieveld, but that protest was also banned. Between 20,000 and 25,000 people would be expected. According to Haaglanden Safety Region, so many people do not fit on the Malieveld at a distance of one and a half meters and the demonstration to protect public health had to be banned. The judge once again went along with this reasoning.
For the demonstration on Saturday, the organization has made a number of agreements with the municipality of The Hague. The most important of these is that Virus Madness is responsible for keeping a meter and a half away on the Malieveld. That did not happen. However, the police did not intervene. A spokesman said on Twitter that it is up to the mayor to assess whether action should be taken.
Shoulder to shoulder
The organization is now full of praise for the police. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and the police. Police officers also have ordinary families and experience the adverse effects of the measures in their own lives. Moreover, we are in close and good contact with the police in The Hague and we assume that they will play a positive role in making it a wonderful afternoon. The Hague police are used to directing large demonstrations in the right direction, ‘said a statement.
Last week, the action group lost summary proceedings against the State. Virus madness demanded that the government stop the emergency ordinances and corona measures. Like the rule that people should keep 1.5 meters apart. According to the action group, corona is no more dangerous than the flu and other viruses are even more dangerous. For example, foreman Engel claims that the more than 6,000 deaths attributed to corona by RIVM did not die but with the corona virus. According to him, the corona law was devised “to enslave society.”