For the 6th consecutive night, cars have been burned down in Amsterdam last night, apparently by 'Moroccan youth'. These are not "Paris-style" riots, but they are low-intensity, continuous riots which are not being dealt with.
Ferdy at Klein Verzet is following up on the development of this story.
The Netherlands is no stranger to attacks on the police. Just last night hundreds of soccer-team supporters threw stones and 'other materials' at police after a game. Seven people were arrested and the police already announced more will be arrested in the upcoming few days.
The Moroccan 'disturbances' have moved from attacking the police station in Slotervaart and representatives of the media to burning down cars. This Saturday night four more cars were burned down, this time mostly in other, adjacent neighborhoods: Osdorp and Geuzenveld/Slotenmeer.
Eight Moroccan men were arrested Wednesday night, aged 18-32. Three of them were caught driving around in a car with jerrycans full of benzine. The other five "looked like they were going to disturb the public order". Their lawyer claims they were just discussing whether to go into town. All eight were released with restraining orders.
The supposed reason for the 'disturbances' was the killing of a Moroccan man by the local police. The man, known as Bilal B., entered a police station and stabbed two police officers, seriously injuring them, before he was finally shot and killed. However, there is a general consensus that the police acted correctly. At their core, these disturbances have nothing to do with Bilal B.
An Amsterdam alderman suggested last week that benefits be cut to parents who let their children out on the streets, though those arrested are not exactly children.
Police commissioner Bernard Welten said in an interview Thursday that the police know who the rioters are, and will get to them in good time. This group is made up of kids aged 12-17, and the police had already arrested people from this group 86 times, with all together 1470 arrested in the neighborhood. However, he said, the police force was fighting with its hands tied, walking on thin ice and doing everything to prevent eruptions, though he emphasized they do not shy away from tough measures.
Meanwhile, Moroccan organization are demanding that the authorities invest more in the neighborhood. Local Youth Council Slotervaart will be presenting a manifest strongly disapproving of the incidents and distancing themselves from the arsonists.
It is hard to compare, but there had been a similar case just half a year ago. Rini Mulder (whose full name was revealed) was killed by a police officer when the latter thought he was about to be attacked. Mulder's death caused rioting, on a larger scale than these current 'disturbances'. Police acted swiftly: they cut off the neighborhood from the outside world, letting only residents enter and leave through security checkpoints, gave hundred euro fines to whoever violated the temporary security regulations, put up cameras throughout to keep the neighborhood under surveillance and arrested more than a hundred rioters.
Sources: Expatica 1, 2 (English), Telegraaf 1, 2 (Dutch), Elsevier (Dutch), NOS (Dutch), Parool (Dutch), RTL (Dutch)
See also: Amsterdam: Bilal B. summary