BRUSSELS (AP) — Ten of thousands of people demonstrated through central Brussels on Sunday to protest reinforced COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Belgian government to counter the latest spike in coronavirus cases.

Police estimate that 35,000 people attended the rally. Several hundred protestors began pelting officers, setting fire to garbage bins and smashing vehicles. As the sun set on Belgium’s capital, police responded by using water cannons as well as tear gas to restore order.

The clashes left three police officers and one protestor injured. Police spokesperson Ilse Vandekeere said that 42 protestors were taken into custody and two others were charged and held in connection to the violent march.

The marchers came to protest the government’s strong advice to get vaccinated and any possible 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” and marched to the European Union headquarters. The signs were a mix of far-right symbols and rainbow flags from the LGBT community.

According to the World Health Organization, last week’s statement stated: Europe was the hot spot of the pandemic right now, COVID-19 death rates were only increasing in this region. In many Central and Eastern European countries, the fall surge in infections has overwhelmed hospitals. Ukraine, Russia, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

There have been many developments over the last few days. anti-vaccination marches in European nationsOne government followed another in tightening measures. The Dutch police arrested more than 30 peopleFollowing much more violent violence on the previous night, there was unrest Saturday in The Hague.

Austria is going into a 10-day national lockdown on MondayAfter imposing a lockdown for the unvaccinated, everyone can go. Vienna’s Christmas market was jam-packed Sunday, with tourists and locals enjoying the sights of Vienna before food and retail outlets close.


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