Clashes At Huge Brussels Protest Against COVID Restrictions; Europe in Turmoil


By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy

BRUSSELS (Worthy News) – At least tens of thousands of people demanding an end to government-imposed COVID-19 lockdowns, vaccinations, and mask mandates faced riot in Brussels Sunday after similar rallies across .

The fighting in the capital of Belgium and the underscored growing public discontent in the , where restrictions have been linked to bankruptcies, rising suicide rates, and deaths due to postponed treatments.

Protestors are also angry that while they could not visit dying loved ones in care homes or hospitals, leaders ranging from royals to prime ministers violated lockdown rules with parties.

In Brussels, at least 50,000 demonstrators, some arriving from France, Germany, the , and other countries, marched through the streets chanting “Liberty!”

The demonstration was overshadowed by reports that some protestors attacked journalists and damaged equipment.

Additionally, a video showed black-clad protesters attacking a building used by the European Union’s diplomatic service, hurling projectiles at its entrance and smashing windows.

EU CONCERNS

But many protestors in Brussels and other European capitals peacefully expressed concerns about what they view as an attempt by EU governments to introduce tyranny.

They question the certificates showing proof of vaccination or recovery required to enter venues in many EU nations. Additionally, many question mask mandates rolled out across the EU.

As tensions rose, helmeted police riot officers repeatedly charged after protesters who tried said ignored instructions to disperse. Police water cannon trucks fired powerful jets, and gas trails filled the air.

A protest leader yelled through over a loudspeaker, “Come on, people! Don’t let them take away your rights!” as police officers faced off against demonstrators. Some threw projectiles at police, shouting, “Go to hell!”

Brussels police later said 70 people were detained, and three officers and 12 demonstrators required hospital treatment.

The protests followed tense rallies elsewhere in Europe, including in Barcelona, , where protesters wore costumes and waved banners reading “It’s not a pandemic, it’s a dictatorship.”

REJECTING VACCINES

Participants included people rejecting vaccines and those who deny the existence of gravity of the , citing statistics. Few donned face masks, which are currently mandatory outdoors in Spain. Authorities say the measures are needed in a nation recording nearly 92,000 coronavirus deaths on a population of 47 million.

At least thousands of people also protested Saturday, including in Athens, Helsinki, London, Paris, and Stockholm.

In Paris, demonstrators expressed outrage about the introduction from Monday of a new COVID-19 pass. It will severely restrict the lives of those who refuse to get vaccinated by banning them from domestic flights, sports events, bars, cinemas, and other leisure venues. French reported that demonstrators also marched through different cities.

Sweden, where vaccine certificates are required to attend indoor events with more than 50 people, some 3,000 demonstrators marched through central Stockholm.

Swedish media reported that representatives from the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement attended the action with a banner. Police closely monitor the group, which has been associated with violent behavior at demonstrations.

No major incidents or clashes were reported by late afternoon. A similar demonstration with some 1,000 participants was held in Goteborg, Sweden’s second-largest city.

MORE PROTESTS

Elsewhere in Scandinavia, thousands marched Saturday through the streets of central Helsinki, Finland, to protest, but no unrest or violence was reported to the police.

The rally came after the Finnish government authorized local and regional authorities just before Christmas to introduce “extensive and full measures” in response to what it says are rising virus cases involving the omicron variant.

The restrictions included limiting or prohibiting events, moving university classes online, limiting restaurant service, and closing venues where people have a higher risk of exposure.

Restaurants and events are allowed to require vaccine passports.

Earlier last week, the Netherlands, which introduced one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns, also saw massive protests.

And with rallies spreading, there’s growing pressure on EU governments to rethink policies.

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