‘Transition From Democracy to Tyranny’: MEP Decries ‘Brutal’ Police at Lockdown Protests in Europe

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Herman Kelly

An MEP has called out the ‘brutal’ actions of police at a number of lockdown protests in Europe, drawing comparisons to life behind the iron curtain.

Cristian Terheș, a conservative MEP from Romania, has called out what he described as the ‘brutal’ actions of police at a number of lockdown protests in Europe that he has attended.

Terheș also drew comparisons between European authorities and the old communist regimes of eastern Europe, saying that while many used to live behind the so-called “Iron Curtain”, people in the EU now live under what can be called “Iron Fist”.

“Under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen, the EU is transitioning from democracy to tyranny,” Terheș said during a press conference on Thursday.

“I’ve seen what happened in 1989, in December in Romania, when we took it to the streets to fight against communism,” the MEP said.

“Look where we are right now: from and Iron Curtain, handled by the USSR, we live right now in a world… that you could easily call the ‘Iron Fist’. This is what the EU became.”

“The question we should all ask is: what are we?” the ECR group member continued. “What is the direction that we will allow this EU to take.”

In particular, the Romanian MEP noted what he called the “brutal” actions of police in the Netherlands, holding up one picture to those gathered depicting a protester being mauled by a police dog during a lockdown protest in the country earlier in the month.

“What I saw… I could not believe,” Terhes said. “That in western Europe, a police department — a government — could treat people the way those people were treated by the police in Amsterdam on January 2nd.”

“This is just one out of the many pictures released by the media that were released by the media when innocent protesters were mauled by police dogs,” he continued. “The only thing that these people in Amsterdam asked for — was not for higher pensions, for higher salaries, for new elections, like the one in Belarus — the only thing those people asked for was to have their basic, fundamental human rights respected by their own government, which did not happen.”

Terheș also praised a number of veterans in the Netherlands, who he says formed a cordon around protesters in order to protect them from the police.

“They came, and they created a line of defence between these brutal police forces, and the innocent bystanders,” the MEP said. “And if you look on the images, you will see that the ones who got beaten first were the veterans.”

“I’m not Dutch, and I am not a citizen of their country, but I have to use this opportunity to thank them for their service,” Terheș continued. “These people risked their lives, for the life and the prosperity of their citizens. They did that… in various NATO operations, and they did that on January 2nd.”

The ECR group member also criticised recent comments made by Emmanuel Macron, who said that “when [the individual’s] freedom threatens the freedom of others, [the individual is] irresponsible,” and that “an irresponsible person is no longer a citizen”.

“Macron just said a few days ago that if you’re not vaccinated or if you don’t have a green certificate, you are not a citizen anymore,” Terheș said. “You know what that means? That you don’t have rights.”

Also present at the conference was Italian MEP Francesca Donato, who heavily criticised the actions of Italian authorities, saying that they have led to a “true health service collapse” in the country.

Donato also decried what she saw as authorities leading a “hate campaign” against a minority made up of unvaccinated individuals in the country

“This minority is segregated and persecuted by the government for just political reasons,” Donato claimed. “I wonder how the EU institution can go on being indifferent to all of that.”

A number of European countries have implemented extremely harsh restrictions against the Chinese Coronavirus that introduces elements of discrimination between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Italy for example has banned the unjabbed from a wide variety of workplaces through the use of the so-called “Super Green Pass”.

The pass has also been expanded to public transport, meaning those who cannot prove either vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 will not be able to avail of those services either.

As a result, protests against COVID measures have been widespread across the EU, with major rallies taking place in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, as well as a number of other countries.

These rallies, however, can and have resulted in violent scenes from both sides, with the Netherlands, in particular, being a hotspot for altercations.

During protests in November last year, police reported widespread vandalism, as well as attacks on police officers in the Hague.

Meanwhile, one video — which appears to depict Dutch police beating and kicking a man on the ground during a protest in February last year — has led to one UN official denouncing the actions of the officers as “savagery“.

“This is one of the most disgusting scenes of Police Brutality I have seen since George Floyd!” wrote UN Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer. “These officers & their superiors must be prosecuted for the crime of torture!”

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