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Dutch police shut down illegal rave

January 2, 2022

Hundreds attended the rave, including people from as far as Italy and Spain. Hundreds of police were mobilized to take participants away from the venue.

A Dutch police officer stopping a red car
Dutch police broke off an illegal New Year's rave in the town of Rijswijk Image: Sem van der Wal/ANP/picture alliance

Dutch police shut down an illegal New Year's rave in the town of Rijswijk on Saturday.

The party, held on Friday in the building of an old brickyard, was attended by hundreds.

Rijswijk is a town in the municipality of Buren, part of the Netherlands' eastern Gelderland province.

'The rules apply to everyone!'

As cited by the Buren municipality's Twitter account, Buren mayor Josan Meijers said that "This is an illegal party, so it is forbidden."

"Moreover, it is not appropriate during the coronavirus crisis. The rules apply to everyone!" she added.

ANP also reported three arrests and the confiscation of 12 vehicles.

Among the participants, there were people from Germany, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain.

Police were called by residents around midnight. They arrived with several buses but did not initially intervene.

Eventually dozens of police officers entered the brickyard and hundreds more were mobilized to shepherd people away from the venue, according to Dutch broadcaster NOS.

Police vehicles in front of illegal party venue
Hundreds of police officers were mobilizedImage: Sem van der Wal/ANP/picture alliance

According to the ANP news agency, most of the participants left voluntarily after police intervention around noon local time (1100 GMT).

A local prefecture source cited by the AFP news agency said police were carrying out drug tests after having secured the site.

What is the coronavirus situation in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is under a tough lockdown due to the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus. This lockdown is expected to last until at least the middle of January.

Only two individuals from different households may gather outside, with the exception of burials.

Dutch police in front of cars
Most of the participants left voluntarily after police intervention Image: Sem van der Wal/ANP/picture alliance

In the Netherlands, fireworks were banned over the holiday period, a measure designed to avoid firework-related injuries and free up hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. Nonetheless, one 12-year-old child was killed and another seriously injured in one firecracker mishap that occurred during New Year's Eve celebrations.

sdi/aw (AFP, dpa)