PublishedTue, 14 Sep 2021, 12:05
- The second round took place last weekend across ten cities, with the government yet to officially respond.
A second round of the Unmute Us! protests took place in the Netherlands this past weekend.
Saturday's protests, which followed the initial gatherings on August 21st, expanded to ten cities throughout the country, with estimates of more than 150,000 people in attendance. The government has yet to officially respond to the calls of campaigners, who are pushing for a recent ruling banning large music events until October 31st to be overturned.
As well as frustration at a highly publicised and well-supported first protest being ignored, backing for the campaign has been boosted in recent weeks by the government allowing large-scale sports events, such as F1 racing and football matches, to continue.
Ruben Leufkens, programmer and co-owner of BIT and Keilecafe in Rotterdam, feels a lack of consistency and clarity in Covid-19 legislation has added to the unrest within the industry.
"First, our PM announced to open the clubs and festivals in the beginning of summer, and two weeks later he turned it back by blaming the industry for it," he told Resident Advisor. "It's not always totally clear what the measurements mean for smaller institutions, which causes the music bars, with good intentions, to make mistakes with lasting consequences for their reputation."
He added: "In short, offering entrepreneurs fake possibilities only makes it worse and my patience has run out. Stop the bullshit and come up with something real and stick to it. That's all I'm asking for."
The latest protests also drew criticism on social media, with fundamental concerns about the nature of the protest raised after noted US right-wing personality Laura Ingraham expressed her support.
"All I'm saying is if Laur* Ingrah*m is on your side, something is very very wrong with your platform /re: Dutch dance music scene protests," wrote Jordan GCZ on Twitter. "I wish Unmute Us cared about public safety while protesting. It undermines their claims of caring about opening clubs safely."
The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, is due to announce the latest Covid-19 guidelines at 7 PM this evening.