Belgian Police Fire Tear Gas, Water Cannon Against Anti-Lockdown Protesters

Belgian police fired tear gas and water cannon on Dec. 5 to disperse a crowd of protesters demonstrating in Brussels against COVID-19 restrictions and vaccines.

According to police, around 8,000 people marched through the Belgian capital towards the headquarters of the European Union (EU).

The number of participants was a sharp decline from the 35,000 protesters at a similar demonstration last month against mandatory mask-wearing, vaccination passes, and lockdowns.

Police wearing riot gear also blocked protesters from reaching the roundabout outside the EU headquarters.

Some protesters threw fireworks, flares, and beer cans at officers and police responded with water cannon and tear gas.

No injuries were immediately reported.

Police on Twitter called on the demonstration to dissolve and announced that they will arrest “troublemakers.”

Protesters compared the stigmatization of the unvaccinated to the treatment of Jews forced to wear yellow stars during World War II with banners saying “COVID = Organized Genocide” and “The QR code is a Swastika.”

Some protesters brought small children to protest against vaccinating them, claiming that it would make them sick.

“Our children will not be your guinea pigs,” one placard at the protest said.

Belgian national and regional governments imposed new health measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 as cases surge and overwhelm hospitals in one of the worst-hit countries in Europe.

The latest measures announced on Dec. 3 include requiring children over the age of six to wear masks and closing kindergarten and primary schools from Dec. 20.

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