Fans are not Criminals: Feyenoord Supporters Arrested for Protesting

The supporters of Feyenoord Rotterdam planned a protest at the weekend in reaction to their club losing their last 7 matches in the Eredivisie. According to the supporters from Rotterdam this is the fault of the directive board and general manager Eric Gudde. The supporters demanded the staff would leave the club and to make a statement they organized a protest march with empty cardboard boxes so they could “start packing”.

The protest was originally friendly and silent, all the organizers announced on social media that nobody should use violence as the police was probably going to provoke them. Check the video below for a shot of the protest march.

The protest march went from their training ground to the stadium, however they were stopped by police before reaching the ground. The riot police formed a line so nobody could get through. The group of protesters was directed through a small alleyway where they were closed in by riot police from both sides. What happened after this is so crazy we can hardly believe…

Every protester had to take a picture while holding their identification card. Those who refused to do so were arrested and brought to the police station. The police told the media everyone could go inside the stadium only after all the pictures had been taken.

Picture by: Roeland van Meerveld
Picture by: Roeland van Meerveld

Eventually, the police told everyone they had to go by coaches to the police station in the city. This meant over 100 innocent protesters got arrested because they were walking with empty cardboard boxes above their heads. The police made a statement on Twitter saying everyone had been arrested because of fighting, which according to local reports, is untrue. Later that day the police said these measures had been taken because the march began earlier that what had been initially agreed.

The latest statement of the police reads as follows: “Everyone has been arrested because there was no permit for the protest march. It is legal to protest however a permit is required when the protest starts to move from one to another location. Because of this everyone had to go on a picture holding their identification card and everyone received a fine of €220.”

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