First demonstration against anti-coronavirus measures in Brussels

Around 200 people demonstrated in Brussels against the anti-coronavirus measures, while Belgium is experiencing an epidemic rebound. – NICOLAS MAETERLINCK / BELGA / AFP

More than 200 people demonstrated on Sunday in Brussels against the anti-Covid restrictions, in their view of freedom, some accusing the public authorities and experts of being in the pay of the pharmaceutical industry.

“Corona circus”, “it’s my body, it’s my choice”, could we read on the signs. The anger of the demonstrators took on a conspiratorial accent, aiming as well the wearing of the compulsory mask, the vaccines, as the American billionaire Bill Gates or the 5G.

«Viral film»

“It is not the virologists and the doctors who will dictate the rules in our country”, denounced Michel, a protester preferring to keep his name silent, confiding his weariness that “we are taken for children”. Wearing a mask became compulsory on August 12 throughout the territory of the Brussels region (1.2 million inhabitants), against the backdrop of the resurgence of the pandemic in a country where it has killed nearly 10,000 people.

The call to protest was launched a few days earlier on social media by a group of citizens under the slogan “Viruswaanzin” (“viral madness” in Dutch), a local version of a movement that appeared in the Netherlands .

It was accompanied by a request for the resignation of the Flemish virologist Marc Van Ranst, one of the most prominent members of the college of experts consulted by the Belgian government on the pandemic, and who is also in the crosshairs of the extreme Flemish right for its pronounced positions on the left on social issues.

“No to this masquerade”

The rally was held at the foot of an administrative tower in central Brussels, where demonstrators were invited to follow one another in small groups to file a letter demanding the resignation of Marc Van Ranst.

Some protesters were masked, others were not. A man was wearing an orange life jacket with the inscription “ready for the second wave”. Beside him, another protester had written on his T-shirt: “no to this masquerade”.

“The goal (of the virus) is vaccination and that virologists who appear on television receive small envelopes from pharmaceutical laboratories, we know”, said a woman visibly convinced by conspiracy theories questioned by the French-speaking channel RTBF.

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