Coronavirus, Foreign | Police stormed the park after an April Fool’s joke in Belgium

The police in the Belgian capital Brussels saw themselves forced to go in with riot police and a water cannon to disperse a large crowd in a park on Thursday.

Several thousand people are said to have gathered in the Bois de la Cambre, southeast of the city center, to take part in “La boum” (“The Party”), a fake festival that was launched as an April Fool’s joke, writes the Brussels Times.

Also read: Scam email in FHI’s name was April Fool’s joke

Pictures from the place show young people dancing and partying, while they broke the ban on gatherings of more than four people outdoors. According to the newspaper Le Soir, there may have been up to 5,000 people in the park.

The police attorney in Brussels stated even before the event that anyone who violated the coronary restrictions risked prosecution.

Around 5 pm, the police pulled into the park to clear away the crowds, which led to a major confrontation where bottles and other objects were thrown at the police. Journalists from the news agency AFP say that at least one policeman was injured and several party participants were arrested.

Eventually, the police pulled in with water cannons, horses and pepper spray. Numerous

from the place shows fights between partygoers and the police.

The festival organizers repeatedly expressed on social media that it was an April Fool’s joke, without this seeming to stagnate eager Brussels residents. The city’s parks have been filled with people who want to enjoy the unusually warm spring weather all week.

A group calling itself The Abyss has advertised for a similar event in another park in Brussels on Good Friday. The group writes that they are not against the authorities ‘corona strategy, but are fighting for the citizens’ rights to gather outdoors.

(© NTB)

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