Civil servants and journalists were still present in the ministry, where the press conference took place. They were allowed to go outside again around 21.30
According to those present, during the press conference a lot of noise was heard, fireworks were thrown at the ministry. So many people crowded around a NOS satellite car that the technician fled into the ministry as a precaution. There was also a smoke bomb.
“Due to the security situation, the building has now been hermetically sealed,” said one of those present. Journalists, civil servants and ministers, among others, are still inside. The Hague police confirm that fireworks have been set off. “We have not made any arrests yet. There are still some groups of protesters outside, but others are currently leaving again.”
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Police confirm that the exits of the building have been closed for security reasons. That decision was made by the security of the ministry, the police said.
At some point, protesters had also blocked the ministry’s parking garage. The police had to beat them up with batons to allow two cars to exit.
The demonstration is a noise protest from opponents of the corona measures. It started around 7 p.m., the time when the press conference of Rutte and De Jonge also started. Relaxations have been announced in this, but also the use of the corona pass. A corona ticket is required from 25 September to gain access to, for example, the catering industry and theaters.
The demonstration was not announced in advance at the municipality of The Hague, a municipal spokesperson said.
By 9 p.m. there were less than fifty demonstrators left, but many have already left. There have been no arrests so far, police said.
Journalists also experienced a threatening atmosphere during the corona protest. A technician who was sitting in a satellite car of the NOS did not feel safe when the demonstrators approached the car. He therefore left the vehicle and fled inside, a NOS spokesperson reported. Because the satellite car was no longer manned, a new connection had to be made and the image of the press conference briefly went black.
Editor-in-chief Gert-Jaap Hoekman of NU.nl announced on Twitter that a car belonging to the editors was spat at and that a reporter was unable to do his job outside due to the threatening atmosphere. Journalists’ union NVJ said in a response that it is “sad and incomprehensible” that journalists cannot simply do their work without feeling unsafe.