Police in the Netherlands have broken up rival protests at the statue of a Dutch East India Company officer. Colonial-era figures have become focal points of anti-racism protests around Europe in recent weeks.
Some 500 protesters on Friday gathered in the town of Hoorn, north of Amsterdam, to call for the removal of a statue of 17th century colonial-era Dutch officer Jan Pieterszoon Coen.
There was also a smaller group of counterprotests. When demonstrators refused to disperse, police broke up the crowds with shields and batons, arresting five people. No injuries or damages were reported.
Coen, an officer in the Dutch East India trading company, led a conquest of the Banda islands in 1621, in modern-day Indonesia. Only 1,000 of the 15,000 local inhabitants were believed to have survived.
”Everyone here today gives a voice to the victims. A mass murderer does not deserve a statue,” said Romy Rondeltap, one of the protest organizers.