50,000 Attend Anti-Vax Protest in Brussels (Video)

Massive gathering to protest government’s Covid-19 mandates.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Several thousand protesters turned out in Brussels—a region of Belgium—including some from other European countries, according to Euronews.
  • Attendees, who the authorities said numbered around 50,000, were protesting the country’s health pass and other pandemic restrictions.
  • Banners carried slogans critical of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo as well as the government’s measures, Euronews reports.
  • The demonstrators marched through the capital before congregating in Cinquantenaire Park in the city’s European quarter.
  • Movements World Wide Demonstration for Freedom and Europeans United for Freedom, the organizers of Sunday’s rally, had encouraged protesters from other countries to take part in Sunday’s demonstration, as Dutch, Polish, and Romanian flags were visible in the cortege.
  • Conditions for obtaining the pass are to be tightened in the nation, as the Belgian parliament is due to debate turning the health pass into a “vaccine pass,” Euronews notes.
  • Social media posts estimated 100,000 people turned out for the protest, doubling counts from authorities.
WHAT PROTESTERS SAID:
  • “What’s happened since 2020 has enabled people to wake up,” said Francesca Fanara, who had come from Lille in northern France.
  • Denouncing what he called a “health dictatorship,” Adolfo Barbosa from Portugal said it “warms the heart to see these people here,” Euronews reports.
BACKGROUND:
  • The prime minister had said on Friday that restaurants and bars could extend their opening hours, but also that nightclubs have to remain closed.
  • Riot police were out in force and eventually moved in to disperse the protesters, as Belgian police fired water cannon and volleys of tear gas on Sunday in an attempt to disperse demonstrators, Euronews notes.
  • Police fired water cannons and tear gas at the demonstrators.