The Gare du Nord was once again the starting point for the Ensemble pour la Liberté demonstration. On the VRT, the organizers announced that 25,000 people were present. But according to our journalist on site and the Brussels police, there are some 5,000 to demonstrate.
The procession left the starting point and reached the Cinquantenaire.
The organizers invited “all those who think that something is wrong” to join the movement, they indicate Friday in a statement, specifying that it is about a “peaceful gathering”.
“A few arrests have already taken place. These are people in possession of pyrotechnics, ”says Ilse Van de Keere, spokesperson for the Brussels-Ixelles police zone.
People are starting to heat up. Some set fire to the plantations.
The police decided to intervene. Riot police surrounded a group of protesters and pulled them down in rue de la Loi.
This new protest movement, the result of collaboration between dozens of associations, intends to challenge measures “which lead to the polarization of society, by dividing citizens into two classes, with fundamental rights becoming conditional”.
“I am happy to see so many people gathered here,” said organizer Ezra Armakye. “People from all walks of life and all faiths, coming together to make it clear that we will not tolerate the Covid Safe Ticket. “
“’Together for freedom’ brings together organizations and individuals from all over society,” he added. “Vaccinated and unvaccinated people, left and right, to get the message across that there needs to be a policy that chooses to bond rather than divide and polarize. A government that chooses support measures instead of repressive measures. A society where no distinction is made between citizens A and B. ”
According to the organizers, there also remains a disproportionate fear of the coronavirus, which must be eliminated. “Other scientific visions must also be addressed, so that measures relating to the coronavirus can be balanced. The current narrative has been scientifically contradicted on several occasions, and critical voices remain filtered. It is time for citizens to regain the confidence they recently lost in politics and to work together for a future where everyone feels at home, ”they explain.
About thirty arrests
About thirty people were arrested administratively. The police also made some judicial arrests, Brussels police said on Sunday evening.
Eleven people, in possession of firecrackers and flammable material, had already been administratively arrested before the start of the demonstration at the Gare du Nord.
The procession, made up of some 5,000 people, according to the police, followed the small belt before breaking up in the Parc du Cinquantenaire. Some demonstrators tried to do battle with the police, but they were blocked in the small rue de la Loi. Projectiles were thrown and fire was set on Christmas trees.
Calm quickly returned, however. “In total, around 30 people have been administratively arrested and a few others have been subject to judicial arrest,” said police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere.
A previous demonstration organized by the same people on November 21 attracted some 35,000 people. Violent riots had broken out on the sidelines of the demonstration.