Thousands of people gathered in Utrecht on Saturday afternoon for the “Together for the Netherlands” demonstration, protesting against COVID-19 measures among other issues. Participants gathered in Transwijk Park and then marched through the city.

Utrecht 2021 / Krzysztof Kubicki

According to the municipality, there were approximately 5,000 demonstrators at the protest. In Transwijk Park, a stage was set up with the Forum for Democracy logo. Member of Parliament Pepijn van Houwelingen delivered a brief speech there before the protest march commenced.

“It is our duty to awaken our brothers, sisters, and the rest of the population who are hypnotized. We must fight this battle together, and we must teach the Dutch that there is something more important than life and death, and that is the ability to live in freedom and have control over your own body,” said Pepijn van Houwelingen.

A counter-demonstration also took place. After leaving the park, the crowd headed towards the Socrates Bridge. Via Rijnlaan and Waalstraat, the demonstrators reached Jutfaseweg. A small group of counter-protesters was present at the Oranje Bridge, with one of their banners reading “Don’t protest with neonazis.”

The protest march proceeded through Jutfaseweg, Vondellaan, Balijelaan, and finally returned to Transwijk Park via Europalaan.

The municipality of Utrecht reported that a “punishable expression” was confiscated in the park before the march started, and the details of the person carrying it were recorded, resulting in a police report. The demonstration continued peacefully.

A demonstration against pandemic restrictions in Utrecht saw approximately 5,000 participants, according to the municipality. The demonstration proceeded calmly, as stated by a spokesperson. Demonstrators gathered in Transwijk Park, and one participant will receive a police report for displaying an illegal slogan in the park. The city authorities called on people to maintain a 1.5-meter social distance.

The maximum number of people allowed at the demonstration had been previously set at 5,700.

The image shows a group of protesters holding signs and banners, with Dutch anti-riot police officers standing nearby. The presence of the police officers illustrates the state’s efforts to control and regulate the demonstration, and the protesters’ determination to assert their rights and express their discontent.

This photograph is an example of documentary photography, a genre that captures significant events and reflects on the social and political issues of the time. Moment in history that reflects the ongoing struggle for freedom and autonomy in the face of state control.

The photograph not only tells a story of the event but also gives a deeper insight into the emotions, thoughts and feelings of people involved.

Photo: Krzysztof Kubicki