FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A Protest Against COVID-19 Restrictions In The Netherlands?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows a protest against COVID-19 restrictions in the Netherlands.

Verdict: Misleading

The video shows a protest in the Netherlands against gas extraction, not COVID-19 restrictions.

Fact Check:

Social media users have recently shared a video of citizens marching in the street with lit objects, purporting it shows a protest against COVID-19 restrictions in the Netherlands. The country has seen a wave of anti-lockdown protests over the last month, according to Euractiv.

While the video does show a protest in the Netherlands, it was not against COVID-19 restrictions. A reverse image search revealed the original video stemmed from a Twitter account. The account tweeted references to Groningen, a city in the Netherlands.

Half uur[sic] later still goin strong #indrukwekkend #Fakkeltocht #respectvoorGroningen,” reads the tweet. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show People In Berlin Protesting Against Coronavirus Restrictions?)

A protest took place in Groningen the night the video was tweeted. That protest centered around compensation for citizens impacted by the effects of gas extraction in the area, according to the Netherland Times. Footage of the demonstration captured by a local Dutch news outlet and shared on YouTube shows the protest occurred at night and had participants carrying torches, similar to the video shared on Twitter.

Groninger Bodem Beweging, a group that advocates for people affected by the gas extraction in the Groningen gas field, announced that they would be protesting Jan. 15, the same day the Twitter and YouTube videos were uploaded.

The Netherlands recently implemented strict COVID-19 restrictions due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, before easing certain policies, according to Reuters. Protests against the restrictions did occur in Amsterdam, but it was during the day, not night, according to Al Jazeera.

This is not the first time a video has been purported to show a COVID-19 protest. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video in December 2021 that also purported to show Germans protesting against restrictions by blocking traffic.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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