Belgian police water cannon, tear gas disperse COVID-19 protests


Brussels — On Sunday, tens of thousands of people protested the COVID-19 limit in Brussels, some of which fired water cannons and tear gas and clashed with police scattered near the headquarters of the European Commission.

According to Belgian police, about 50,000 people gathered at the rally.

Protesters chanted the streets, waving placards and balloons, slogans such as “I want to be free again” and “No COVID slave tickets”, and mentioned vaccine paths needed for specific activities. So it was peaceful at first.

According to Reuters journalists, the invasion of a building and sandwich shop that houses European diplomatic services later caused problems. More than 60 people were arrested and three police officers and twelve demonstrators were taken to the hospital, police said.

Belgium announced a slight relaxation of coronavirus restrictions on Friday, despite record infections, but to maintain paths in bars, cinemas, and many other public spaces, people 5 He also said that he would need to have a booster shot after a month.

“Anti-dictator, not an anti-baker”

“I’m angry with the blackmail that the government is doing,” said caroline van randuit, a vaccinated protester. Her children did not want to be vaccinated, but she said they had to be vaccinated to travel and play sports.

The Sunday scene in the Belgian capital is reminiscent of the clash last November. At that time, about 35,000 protesters visited the streets of Brussels and there was violence.

EU foreign policy director Josep Borrell thanked police and accused “meaningless destruction and violence” in a tweet showing that he was standing in front of a broken glass plate.

As police entered the park, some protesters launched fireworks. A riot policeman rang a water cannon. Read another placard, “I’m an anti-dictator, not an anti-vaxxer.”

Belgium is facing the fifth wave of COVID-19 infection, with no peak expected for at least two weeks.

About 89% of Belgian adults are fully vaccinated and 67% also receive booster shots.

Johnny Cotton

Reuters

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