After the violent explosion in Eindhoven on Sunday afternoon, Brabant cities such as Tilburg, Breda and Oosterhout did not escape the necessary turmoil, riots and destruction on Sunday evening. Tilburg‘s mayor Theo Weterings, also chairman of the Security Region Central and West Brabant, announced around 00.45 a.m., that peace has returned to the neighbourhoods. “But it’s totally reprehensible what we‘ve been through here in the last few hours.”
‘What they could do in Eindhoven, we can also do in Tilburg, ‘the initiators of the call that appeared on social media on Sunday evening. ‘Tonight Tilburg rebellion,‘ said it. People were called upon to report from 20.30 p.m. behind an educational institution in Tilburg-West, with the announcement that some 200 people had already confirmed that they would be present. Eventually, the police talked about a group of about sixty rioters, to whom they had already had their hands full anyway. Mayor Theo Weterings announced an emergency order for much of Tilburg-West.
Initially, the turmoil was limited to a procession of loud horns, but by 21:00 the atmosphere was already a lot more threatening. Despite the curfew, there were many people on the streets, including many unrecognizable young men who did not see much good in the sense. When heavy fireworks are fired here and there and rioters move into the neighborhood, street furniture is destroyed. The windows of various shops must also believe in it. After that, it gets all out of hand. There are fires and a car goes up in flames. Some photographers have been shot with stones. An equally well-funded reporter of the Brabants Dagblad could only just get himself to safety after being chased by a group of 15 people. Once locked in a fire passage, he managed to escape through an adjoining garden.
Police and Mobile Unit intervene where they can and are supported by helicopters circling above the district, but just like in Eindhoven there is also a cat-and-mouse game here.
Many Tilburgers express their horror at what is happening in their city. For example, one Freddie on Twitter writes: “Scandalous and disrespectful. Use rubber bullets, pick them up and lock them up until after the curfew is abolished. Pick them up!” But one Beau has its own priorities: “Can’t that helicopter fly a little higher? I want to go to sleep…”
The Tilburg police report that several rioters have been arrested: “Nine of them are already stuck in the cell complex. Again, stick to the curfew, stay at home and adhere to the corona measures. We are on site to bring peace back. The curfew is in effect. Anyone who is outside without a valid reason will receive a ticket.”
Riots also took place in Breda and Oosterhout. In the Bredase district of Tuinzigt, police and Mobile Unit acted against rioters who caused destruction. Mayor Paul Depla has issued an emergency order valid until 4.30 a.m. Monday morning: “The vast majority of Breda has adhered to the curfew. Unfortunately this did not apply to a group in Tuinzigt. It is a pity that I therefore had to declare this emergency order.”
In Oosterhout was also restless and groups of people gathered who ignored the curfew and caused destruction. For example, the windows of a restaurant were smashed in.
Mayor Theo Weterings van Tilburg, as chairman of the Security Region Central and West Brabant, expresses his horror on behalf of the three municipalities. “Totally reprehensible what we have been through here in the last few hours. Stores of entrepreneurs who are already struggling at this time have been destroyed. The total contempt for all the people who have been fighting for months in the frontline of caring for our health, by ignoring all coronameasures including curfew. And the way in which these rioters behave towards enforcers goes beyond all limits: the blowling with fireworks and stones is unheard of. 18 arrests have been made and more are expected to follow. The bet will also be to recover the damage from the organizers.”
The mayors are calling on everyone to stay home. “Do not listen to calls to riot tomorrow. In addition, we call on all residents who have made footage of the riots in Tilburg, Breda and Oosterhout to share this material with the police.” Finally, the mayors are committed to all the enforcers involved. “Thanks to their commitment, peace has returned fairly quickly.”