On the 11th of September more than a hundred thousand people, in six different cities, came together to protest against the remaining corona rules in the Netherlands. Many countries in Europe have dropped all their restrictions and the Netherlands is not far behind. But one industry still has to suffer, and they have had enough.
For the second time, the events industry gathered to protest under the name “Unmute Us”. This time, way more people were involved, and the organization showed their displeased faces in six different cities of the Netherlands. Utrecht, The Hauge, Eindhoven, Groningen, Maastricht and Amsterdam.
One of the organizers of the protest in Amsterdam, Jasper Goossen, names several reasons why they now demand action from those in charge:
“There are a few reasons why we protest, we feel that the government does not listen to us. We have legitimate research in our favor that shows that we could manage to open up the nightclubs and festivals in a safe way. We are losing money, we have lost employees, and now the economic support from the government will be withdrawn as well. It has reached a point where something has to be done.”
At the press conference on the 14th of September, prime minister Mark Rutte said:, “I immediately add, that this is not the day when everything is back to the way it was before corona”
The day he spoke about was the 25th of September. Then he continued with his speech, telling what measures will be taken to force and what restrictions that will disappear. Some industries were cheering, but others felt abandoned.
On the 25th of September, the 1,5-meter distance rule is in the past. Sports stadiums are allowed to be at full capacity, restaurants and bars can use all their tables, and events can now be arranged. There is just one small issue. When midnight comes, the doors are shut.
“This rule only affects our industry and we know that we can do our job in a proper, safe way, so it is frustrating. It makes no sense that you can do whatever you want in the daytime but not at night”, says Jasper Goossen.
He defines the protest as a success in the number of people attending, but the outcome is yet to be discovered. Some restrictions that “strangled” the industry have been taken away but there are still, “necessary measures” that have not been taken and the industry is still on its knees.
“This is not fair, we are unprioritized and no one can explain why. The government does not mind the voice of us young people, that´s actually how it feels right now,” says one of the protesters in Utrecht.
The protest went down in six cities, thousands of people attended and protested against the lack of measures made to save the nightlife industry. Two weeks have passed, some restrictions have been dropped, but the Unmute Us organization is not satisfied.
“We are fighting because we feel that we are the ones that are bleeding for the earlier mistakes of the government, so tomorrow we are going into court law against the state.
Goossen says their demands are nothing but fair. They want to be able to do their work, which he means everybody else will be able to do, from the 25th of September.
“Right now, it feels like the people in charge think that music festivals and dancing people are the axis of evil. We are demanding two things. Get rid of the 75% capacity roof, and let us have opening hours after midnight.”