Party leader Thierry Baudet of Forum for Democracy had to leave early tonight at a party meeting in Arnhem. He was escorted away and returned after more than an hour.
Baudet then said that the situation was completely under control and that it had been taken for granted. What exactly was going on is not clear. A spokesman said earlier that there was a safety issue. MP Hiddema left with Baudet, but he returned fairly quickly.
The police spoke of a “suspicious situation” because signals had come in that people wanted to disrupt the order. A police helicopter circled above the building for a long time.
After Baudet’s return, the police told us that three people had been checked outside the building, but that they did not appear to be doing any harm. No one was arrested. The police spoke of a false alarm and a storm in a glass of water.
Visitors were allowed to leave the auditorium, but most stayed seated to listen to Baudet. By 11 pm the meeting was ended.
According to Hiddema, threats had come in from several people:
The meeting was half an hour long when he was interrupted during a speech by Jan Cees Vogelaar, chairman of the Mesdagfonds, about the nitrogen problem. An employee reported that there was a “minor safety issue”, after which a break was taken.
Attendees were allowed to stay in the hall, while the band started playing music.
At this moment the news was announced:
Those present in the room said that security had been restless from the start. A reporter from Omroep Gelderland reported that the security guards were agitated and signalled to each other. A reporter from de Volkskrant who was present wrote on Twitter that Baudet ran out of the room.
The room is adjacent to a park, from where you can look inside. In the course of the evening, a screen was lowered so that that was no longer possible.
In the Musis Arnhem tonight the party presented a vision on the Netherlands of 2040.
Visitors look back on the incident soberly afterwards: