Beatrice de Graaf on last weekend's riots

Bereden politie © Nalli
© Nalli

Last weekend, several riots took place throughout the Netherlands. Prof. Beatrice de Graaf (History and Art History) discussed her vision on the violence on NPO Radio 1.

Prof. dr. Beatrice de Graaf. Foto: David van Dam
Prof. Beatrice de Graaf

Riots of all times

Are last weekend's riots un-Dutch? "No, not at all actually," says De Graaf. Many people have the idea that this situation is unique, but that's not true: there are all kinds of moments from the last forty years where demonstrations got out of hand or violence was used against the police. One of the most recent examples is Project X in Haren, which took place less than ten years ago.

Last weekend's riots are actually not un-Dutch at all.

Political message

Some things are different this time, though: last weekend's riots were not parties getting out of hand, but had a political message and perhaps even support from politicians. Importantly, not all rioters were focused on politics. Many of them got involved through social media, where rioters encouraged each other to commit acts of violence. The inciting effect of social media has only recently begun to play such a large role.