Police Clash With Crowd Gathered in Brussels for April Fool’s Day Concert

Police in Brussels used water cannon and tear gas to disperse a large crowd who defied COVID-19 restrictions to attend a fake concert that was announced on social media as an April Fool’s Day prank.

Police arrived wearing riot gear in the Bois de La Cambre park in the south of Brussels when a crowd of up to 2,000 people gathered for a fake concert called “La Boum” (the party) that promised performances by Scottish DJ Calvin Harris and French band Daft Punk.

Some in the crowd shouted “freedom” and threw projectiles, such as bottles and stones, at the police who came on foot and on horseback.

Police said they arrested four people and that three officers were injured.

Organizers of the fake April 1 event said that the announcement was a hoax, but people still showed up, breaching COVID-19 rules that prohibited gatherings of over four people outdoors.

According to prosecutors, investigation on who posted the invitation on Facebook is ongoing.

Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said on Twitter that although “people need to be outside,” such gatherings would not be tolerated.

“Those who fail to obey police orders run the risk of arrest and prosecution,” Close added.

“I will do my best to ensure that they are prosecuted. And I’ll send them the bill,” Close further stated.

Law enforcement authorities also had issued a warning on March 31 that the invitation on social media of a “party” was illegal and that its organizers could be prosecuted.

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