Anti-lockdown protesters clash with police

By Joe Sutton, CNN • Updated 12th February 2020

Violent demonstrations erupted in several European countries Monday as opponents of an anti-lockdown law protested against the measure.

Protests were staged in 12 countries from Ireland to Italy — sparking clashes in some places with riot police.

In Copenhagen, at least one protester was arrested during a protest that included squats, activists and police. Reports said some demonstrators threw acid at officers.

The Danish government passed the Anti-Lockdown Law last month, which allows police to detain people locked into their cars, particularly those suspected of committing crimes.

The new measure has since been the subject of international condemnation. Critics say it can be used as a pretext to trample on civil liberties.

Arrested in Amsterdam

Protesters clashed with police in Amsterdam, where around 500 people had gathered to protest.

Some protesters threw bottles and chairs, TV footage showed. A man was reportedly arrested.

In Paris, riot police were out in force.

“(It was) mostly for security purposes, but also for the demonstration in solidarity with the women taking part in the anti-lockdown movement (in Denmark),” a police spokesman told reporters.

In Germany, several thousand protesters attended anti-lockdown demonstrations in 10 cities, according to the European anti-lockdown campaign organization “Drop the Lockdown.”

“Every year thousands of people (are) locked into their cars during one or more nights,” the group said in a statement.

On Monday, the group called for protests in 27 European cities, including Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Stockholm, Graz, Munich, and Strasbourg.

US protest on Monday

Protests also took place in the United States.

On Monday, 300 pro-lockdown protesters stood outside a Ford Motor Company manufacturing plant in Louisville, Kentucky, demonstrating against the measure, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Protesters in Louisville hoisted signs reading “Ford Does Not Serve Lockdown Prisoners” and “Ford Acknowledges Our Prisoners.”

Protesters accused General Motors of assisting law enforcement with the lockdown measure. GM has not been investigated by local authorities for the lockdowns, CNN affiliate WKYT reported.

Residents of Southern California have also joined the nationwide protests.

Protesters in Silver Lake rallied to “take the streets from lockdown violators,” according to a Facebook page for the event.

Rufus Hill, an entrepreneur and organizer of the Silver Lake Lockdown Fightback Collective, told CNN that Ford cooperated with local law enforcement in preventing the lockdowns.

“Ford Motors worked cooperatively with the Los Angeles Police Department to discourage lockdowns from occurring, one of the primary concerns of the Silver Lake Lockdown Fightback Collective.”

A spokesman for Ford said in a statement: “As a company with long-standing support for communities, we want the best protection for employees, customers and employees’ families, and we work together with local law enforcement agencies to provide that.”

Ford also gave CNN a statement about the Danish anti-lockdown law:

“We are a fierce defender of civil liberties and privacy. In this instance, we have worked cooperatively with Danish authorities to help them address the issues surrounding the anti-lockdown law.”

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