Large numbers of geared up Police forces violently end youth gathering in Park in Brussel. #LaBoum2
VIDEOKINGS — Geared up Belgian police forces fired water cannon and tear gas as they moved in to clear a crowd of several thousands who gathered in a park in Ter Kamerenbos, near Brussel on Saturday, May 1 to enjoy the spring sun. The defiant, mainly young crowd had assembled for the so-called “La Boum 2” festival, organized online, as a follow up to another peaceful gathering that was broken up last month.
[ WATCH: Video of ‘La Boum (1)’ in April, 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx-G5uP4Gps ]
As police cars and armored trucks with water cannon rolled onto the grass close to the heart of the gathering, the merry-makers chanted: “Freedom, Freedom.”
A helicopter and a drone hovered overhead, but the protesters’ music all but drowned out police demands for masking and social distancing.
“It’s been a year,” a 21-year-old woman from the Belgian capital told AFP. “A whole year we can’t go out. After a while you need an alternative.”
Prime Minister Alexander de Croo had urged the crowds to stay away, and hundreds of officers were deployed before the order to clear the park was given.