Belgium has witnessed a protest on Sunday, January 23, 2022, as tens of thousands of demonstrators came out on the street in outrage against the government’s new proposed COVID-19 pandemic measures.
In the protest, people have started stone-pelting on the police officials and other government sites while marching through Brussels, and to stop them, police have fired water cannons and tear gas on them.
As per official reports, authorities have estimated that about 50,000 protestors paraded across the Belgium capital. It is also said that the parade was the largest in a spate of demonstrations across the city over the past months.
The clash between the protestors and police authorities have been broken out near the headquarters of the European Union. People who were protesting were in hundreds and have started paving stones and firecrackers near the sites. In the wake to push back a hundred demonstrators, the police have used water cannons and tear gas on them.
After the masked attackers smashed a glass entrance at the bloc’s diplomat service offices, the foreign policy chief of EU named Joseph Borrel firmly vilified the irrational destruction and violence that erupted at the scene.
Moreover, the protestors were pelted police officials with metal barriers and forced them to pursue shelter in a metro station.
As per the reports, police have arrested about 70 people; dozens of them were charged with more serious offences as they have thrown projectiles and damaged property. Moreover, 12 protestors and three officers were admitted to the hospitals, but none were in critical condition.
While expressing their grief, the Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander De Cross, cited,” Freedom of expression is the fundamental basis of our society. People are free to express their opinion. But in society, there is no place for indiscriminate violence and even less towards our police forces. So, protestors involved in Sunday’s protest will be prosecuted.
Belgium faces an uproar of Omicron-associated infections and records the highest cases across Europe. They have carried a sign that slammed Prime Minister De Cross and protested in outrage against the COVID-19 safe pass required to access numerous venues.
Moreover, various organisations such as the World Wide Demonstrations for Freedom and the Europeans Union for Freedom had urged people to come out on the streets from other EU states.
As a result, the flags from Poland, the Netherlands, France and Romania were also there in the crowd.
As per the data of COVID-19, Belgium has reported a total of 60,000 people have been exposed to the novel coronavirus over the past week. The authorities have referred to the cases as a tsunami of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the milder variant and high rate of immunisation which includes the people who have received their booster jabs against the COVID-19 virus.
Further, On Friday, Prime Minister De Croos declared that they would extend the opening hours of the restaurants and bars; however, the nightclubs would remain closed.