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Clashes pitted demonstrators against the police on Sunday in Brussels, AFP journalists observed during a rally of opponents of measures against COVID which brought together 8,000 people according to the police . & nbsp;

Targeted by a group who threw cans, firecrackers and fired fireworks in their direction with the cry of “freedom, freedom!”, the police officers have retaliated with water cannons and tear gas.

Four demonstrators and two police officers were injured and taken to hospital and twenty people were arrested, we learned from a police source. Garbage cans were set on fire and several law enforcement vehicles damaged.

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    After the arrival of the procession at the end of its route, the police called for its dislocation, in order to better control the violent skids. She then turned back people who refused to leave the scene.

    Two weeks ago, the police were surprised by the scale of the mobilization against health restrictions which then gathered 35,000 people in the Belgian capital and gave rise to scenes of riots.

    The police had this time mobilized greater resources. & nbsp;

    Riot police units with shields and helmets were deployed around the European quarter which houses the EU institutions. Several roads were blocked with fences and barbed wire.

    In addition to the water cannons stationed in town, a helicopter and drones flew over the area.

    The procession had first paraded peacefully in the early afternoon, despite some firecrackers and distress flares, and demonstrators danced to techno music.

    “Vaccines no thanks”, “COVID = organized genocide”, “QR = swastika”, could we read on signs. “No vaccine for our children,” chanted a group of women.

    Protesters denounce the obligations imposed on the population since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to limit contamination, such as the health passport made compulsory to access certain places. They also criticize the media coverage of the crisis.

    Called “Act 2, March for Freedom”, the demonstration intended to continue the mobilization of November 21, but ultimately brought together far fewer people.

    Several other cities in Europe have seen such protests in recent weeks, notably in the Netherlands and Austria, while governments have increased constraints in the face of a new wave of contamination.

    Thus, Belgium announced Friday the closure of nursery and primary schools, for the Christmas holidays, a week in advance to counter the epidemic resumption. It has also imposed the wearing of masks in class for children from the age of six. The nightclubs have been closed and the population is encouraged to limit their contacts and indoor activities as much as possible.

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