14 February 2022

Police filter Brussels traffic to dilute trucker protests

14 February 2022

Belgian police have filtered traffic in and around Brussels during the Monday morning rush hour in an attempt to keep a vehicle protest against coronavirus restrictions in check.

Officers narrowed some highways and imposed go-slow traffic to keep control of what they feared could otherwise turn into a choking demonstration similar to ones carried out by truckers in Canada.

Early indications did not show a groundswell of support for the action, but police took extensive precautions in and around European Union headquarters in central Brussels.

Authorities in France and Belgium have banned road blockades threatened by groups organising online against Covid-19 restrictions (AP) (AP)

Many trucks are expected from France, where Paris police fired tear gas on Saturday against a handful of demonstrators on the Champs-Elysees Avenue who defied a police order by taking part in a vehicle protest.

A threatened blockade of Paris failed to materialise over the weekend, despite days of online organising efforts.

In the Netherlands, dozens of trucks and other vehicles – ranging from tractors to a car towing a camping van – arrived in The Hague for a similar virus-related protest on Saturday, blocking an entrance to the historic Dutch parliamentary complex.

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