Thousands have marched through Brussels to protest reinforced COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Belgian government to counter the latest spike in coronavirus cases
BRUSSELS – Thousands marched through central Brussels on Sunday to protest reinforced COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Belgian government to counter the latest spike in coronavirus cases.
Many of the police estimate of 35,000 at the rally had already left for home when the demonstration turned into violence as several hundred people started pelting stones at police, smashing cars and setting dustbins on fire. Police responded with tear gas and water cannons and called for order to be restored in the Belgian capital by dusk.
Three police officers and a protester were injured in the clashes. In addition, 42 protesters were detained and two were arrested and charged in the violent spree that followed the march, said police spokesman Ilse Vande Kire.
The marchers came together to protest the government’s strong advice on vaccinations and any possible move to introduce mandatory shots.
Shout “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!” And singing the anti-fascist song “Bella Ciao”, protesters lined up behind a giant banner saying “Together for Freedom” and marched toward EU headquarters. Signs varied among the crowd, from far-flung insignia to rainbow flags. LGBT community.
The World Health Organization said last week that Europe is currently the hottest place of the pandemic, the only region in which COVID-19 deaths are increasing. The autumn surge of infections is taking a toll on hospitals in several Central and Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, Russia, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Over the past several days, there have been several anti-vaccination marches in European countries as one government followed the tough measures. Dutch police arrested more than 30 people on Saturday during unrest in The Hague and other cities in the Netherlands, after much worse violence last night.
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