Police, on horseback and on foot, with anti-riot equipment, were hit by projectiles when they intervened and at least one agent was injured, AFP reported on the scene, in a demonstration that mobilized thousands of people, according to the Belgian press.
Several protesters were injured, according to the Belgian press, during the police intervention that was still ongoing in the late afternoon, around 7 pm local time (6 pm in Lisbon).
According to the Spanish agency Efe, the security forces intervened by the hundreds to vacate the Bois de la Cambre park with thousands of people summoned to a false festival called ‘La Boum’, which had not been authorized.
Journalists at the Spanish agency reported that the police used a ‘drone’ to alert participants that they faced fines or detentions for meeting in large groups, and then resorted to water cannons to evacuate the area of one of the largest parks in the Belgian capital. .
Some people threw bottles at agents and shouted ‘slogans’ like “Freedom”, having returned to the scene after being removed.
The police announced a reinforcement of the presence in the park after this event was called on Facebook, fearing that some of the approximately 18,000 people who confirmed their presence on the social network or the 51,000 who expressed interest in the demonstration could visit the site.
“The activity ‘La Boum’ is false news on April Fools’ Day and, therefore, it will not take place. Authorization for a possible festival has not been given and the police will reinforce their presence there,” wrote the Brussels police in the Twitter.
In an interview with the newspaper La Libre Belgique, the alleged masked organizers presented themselves as representatives of a collective of artists and “free thinkers”, using the well-known work of the surrealist painter René Magritte who shows a pipe with the caption “this is not a pipe “, ensuring that the event” is not a festival “, while announcing more initiatives in the future.
However, on Facebook it was indicated that the event would start at 6 pm local time (5 pm in Lisbon) and end on Friday at 7 am local time (6 am in Lisbon), although the date was later changed to the same days, but in 2022.
The alleged festival was scheduled just a day after a court of first instance ordered the Belgian federal government to end all exceptional measures taken to contain the Covid-19 pandemic within a maximum period of 30 days, by considering them illegal.
A few moments later, the Executive announced that he would appeal the sentence.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office regretted the organization of the “false event”, warning that participants were exposed to legal proceedings and announced that it would open an investigation to identify the organizers.
Belgium entered a new phase of stricter restrictions last Saturday, including limited access to non-essential stores and the possibility of outdoor meetings for up to a maximum of four adults.
Due to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 variant identified in the UK, schools and universities closed their doors on Monday, anticipating Easter’s 15-day school vacation by one week.
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