21 November 2021

Tens of thousands march against Belgium’s Covid measures as violence flares across Europe

21 November 2021

Tens of thousands of people marched through central Brussels on Sunday to protest against reinforced Covid-19 measures that the government has imposed to counter the latest spike in coronavirus cases.

Many of those involved in the demonstration, which police estimated at 35,000 people, were also protesting against the strong advice to get vaccinated and any moves to impose mandatory jabs.

Shouting “Freedom, freedom, freedom”, and singing the anti-fascist song Bella Ciao, protesters lined up behind a banner saying “Together for Freedom”.

A demonstration in Brussels against reinforced Covid measures (Olivier Matthys/AP) (AP)

Among the crowd, signs varied from far-right insignia to the rainbow coalition flags of the LGBT community.

There were smoke bombs and firecrackers, but no significant violence as the first marchers reached the end point outside European Union headquarters.

Over the past several days, there have been marches in many European nations as one government after another tightened measures.

Dutch police arrested more than 30 people during unrest in The Hague and other towns in the Netherlands on Saturday, following much worse violence the previous night.

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