Some 35,000 people have demonstrated this Sunday in Brussels against the restrictions adopted to stop the pandemic, in particular the obligation to present the vaccination certificate to access public places, in a march in which there have been incidents between the police and participants in the protest. On the other hand, at least 28 people have been arrested last morning for riots and acts of violence in different cities of the Netherlands, despite the fact that emergency orders were declared and law enforcement agents were deployed in different places as a measure. of precaution, informed the Police.
The Brussels demonstration, authorized by the Belgian capital city council, took part at around 1:30 p.m. local time from the North Station and in the middle of the afternoon it toured the city center under the slogan “Together for Freedom”. informed the Belgian agency.
The police have used water cannons and tear gas to disperse some protesters who have protested against the measures taken in the wake of the spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. According to local media, some people have launched fireworks against the police, as well as vandalized some police vehicles, and some officers have been injured.
Images disseminated on social networks show some participants destroying the furniture of some bar terraces that they have found in their path and setting up barricades to which they have set fire, although for the moment it has not transpired if there are any detainees due to the incidents.
The march was called in principle to protest against the use of the covid pass, there have also been protesters who criticize the mandatory vaccination for all health personnel agreed this week by the Government or vaccines in general, according to the public television RTBF. The organizers have denounced in a statement “the restrictive measures of freedom, which do not constitute a structural solution for health.”
The rebound in covid-19 cases in Belgium, where the cumulative incidence rose 19% in the last week analyzed, to 1,346 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, led the Government to tighten some restrictions this week, although not economic sectors have been closed or confined to certain groups, as in other European countries.
The measures fundamentally involve imposing mandatory teleworking four days a week and expanding the use of the mask inside establishments and cultural places, such as restaurants or cinemas, although the covid certificate has been requested to access them.
Belgium already requires since October to present this document – which proves that the carrier is vaccinated, has passed the disease or tested negative in a recent test – to access the restoration and cultural events.
In addition, the Government has introduced the obligation to be vaccinated for all health workers in the country who, otherwise, from January 1 will see their employment suspended until March 31, date from which their contract will be terminated – with the right to unemployment- or suspended until the worker is vaccinated if he opposes the dismissal -in that case without pay-.
Another night of riots in the Netherlands
In neighboring Netherlands, several groups of young people have met during the night, summoned on the Telegram messaging platform, to provoke acts of violence that have ranged from throwing stones and fireworks at the agents deployed for prevention, to burning of cars, motorcycles, bicycles and public furniture.
The riots have taken place in several cities, including The Hague (South Holland), Roermond and Stein (both in the Limburg province), Bunschoten (Utrecht) and the fishing village of Urk, where the worst coverage data of the vaccination across the Netherlands, as well as the main opposition to coronavirus restrictions. Urk had been designated as a risk zone out of precaution, allowing police to conduct preventive searches, arresting eight people for possessing or setting off fireworks.
On the other hand, the night has been calm in Rotterdam, where strong riots were registered on Friday night in the context of a protest against the restrictions applied by the pandemic, and against the executive’s plans to exclude the unvaccinated from the covid pass although test negative, an idea that has not yet received parliamentary support.