News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

Belgian police fire water cannon, tear gas during COVID curbs protest

01/23/2022 | 03:22pm EDT
Protest against coronavirus measures in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people protested in Brussels on Sunday against COVID-19 restrictions, some clashing with police who fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse them near the European Commission's headquarters.

The rally drew about 50,000 people, Belgian police said.

It was peaceful at first as protesters chanted and filled streets, waving placards and balloons with slogans like: "We want to be free again" and "No Covid slave ticket", a reference to vaccine passes required for certain activities.

Trouble flared later, with a building housing the European diplomatic service and a sandwich shop broken into, a Reuters journalist said. Police said more than 60 people were arrested, with three officers and 12 demonstrators taken to hospital.

Belgium announced a slight easing of coronavirus restrictions on Friday despite record infections, but also said people must have booster shots after five months to keep passes for bars, cinemas and many other public spaces.

'ANTI-DICTATOR, NOT ANTI-VAXXER'

"I'm angry about the blackmail that the government is doing," said protester Caroline van Landuyt, who had herself been vaccinated. Her children did not want to be inoculated but had to so as to travel and play sport, she said.

Sunday's scenes in the Belgian capital were reminiscent of clashes last November, when around 35,000 protesters took to Brussels' streets and there was also violence.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell thanked police and condemned "the senseless destruction and violence" in a tweet that showed him standing in front of a broken pane of glass.

Some protesters let off fireworks as police advanced into a park. Riot officers ringed the water cannon. "I'm not an anti-vaxxer, I'm anti-dictator," read another placard.

Belgium is facing a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections, with the peak not expected for at least a couple of weeks.

Some 89% of Belgian adults are fully vaccinated and 67% have now also received a booster shot.

(Reporting by Johnny Cotton; Writing by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Alexander Smith and Andrew Cawthorne)

By Johnny Cotton


ę Reuters 2022
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
05:54pN.Korean leader Kim slams officials' 'immature' response amid COVID outbreak
RE
05:51pDepp's lawyers press Heard about knife, love notes
RE
05:50pSlovak finance minister sets up battle with proposed tax on Russian oil processing
RE
05:37pThe WSJ Dollar Index Falls 0.76% to 95.77 -- Data Talk
DJ
05:37pDollar Gains 0.17% to 129.36 Yen -- Data Talk
DJ
05:37pEuro Gains 1.15% to $1.0553 -- Data Talk
DJ
05:37pSterling Gains 1.42% to $1.2496 -- Data Talk
DJ
05:34pAllianz to pay $6 billion in U.S. fraud case, fund managers charged
RE
05:32pOil falls 2% on Powell comments, hopes for Venezuela supply
RE
05:31pDogecoin Gained 1.90% to $0.089 at 5 p.m. ET -- Data Talk
DJ
Latest news "Economy & Forex"