Tens of thousands march against Belgium’s COVID measures

Ten of thousands of people marched through central Brussels to protest against the reinforced COVID-19 measures that the government has imposed to counter the latest spike in coronavirus cases

BRUSSELS — Ten 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 in the huge demonstration that police estimated at 35,000 people also protested against the strong advice to get vaccinated and any moves to impose mandatory shots.

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

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

There were smoke bombs and firecrackers, but there was no noteworthy violence when 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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Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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