Violence erupts in Brussels as anti-lockdown mob sets streets on fire in clashes with police as Europe faces Covid crisis

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VIOLENCE has broken out in Brussels with anti-lockdown protesters setting fire to the streets and clashing with police on Sunday.

The protests against the Belgian capital follow Saturday’s demonstrations in Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia and Northern Ireland as Europe faces a Covid crisis.

Protesters set streets on fire in Brussels

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Protesters set streets on fire in BrusselsCredit: AFP
Protesters clashed with police in the Belgian capital

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Protesters clashed with police in the Belgian capitalCredit: AFP / Getty Images
Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing 44 protesters by truck

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Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing 44 protesters by truckCredit: Reuters
Protesters were seen setting fire to garbage cans

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Protesters were seen setting fire to garbage cansCredit: AFP
The police used water cannons and tear gas in response

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The police used water cannons and tear gas in responseCredit: AFP

Police estimate that almost 35,000 people gathered in front of the Gare du Nord train station to protest the return of strict coronavirus measures announced by the government last week, in an attempt to curb the increase in Covid cases.

Under the new rules, unvaccinated people are forbidden to enter bars and restaurants, working from home four days a week is also mandatory while masks are mandatory for anyone over the age of 10 for indoor and certain outdoor activities.

Protesters chanting “Freedom” were seen throwing bottles and fireworks at police, while police used water cannons and tear gas in response.

Protesters were seen clashing with police as they set fire to the capital’s streets while some were seen throwing bricks at the windows of local businesses, including a post office.

Three police officers were injured and 44 protesters were arrested, says the police spokesperson for Brussels-Ixelles, Ilse Van de keere.

“People have been looking for a confrontation with the police,” she added.

City Mayor Philippe Close tweeted that he “strongly condemns the troublemakers” and said he “gave instructions to make arrests and analyze the videos.”

The World Health Organization said Europe was the only region in the world where Covid-related deaths increased, prompting the Belgian Prime Minister to say the continent was on “red alert”.

Infections have increased in Belgium and the number of cases reached 13,836 on Sunday.

This comes when hospital admissions increase by 30 percent per week and have reached their highest level since May. More than a quarter are in the intensive care unit.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said last week: “All alarms are red. Europe’s map is rapidly turning red, and we are the same.”

Police said three police officers were injured

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Police said three police officers were injuredCredit: EPA
Protesters hurled fireworks at police

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Protesters hurled fireworks at policeCredit: EPA
People protested against mandatory vaccinations

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People protested against mandatory vaccinationsCredit: AFP

The Belgian protest called “Together for Freedom” came just hours after it appeared Germany follows the example of Austria make vaccines mandatory after a peak in Covid cases.

The move was announced after ministers and experts acknowledged that it was “inevitable” in the middle of the country’s fourth coronavirus wave.

Germany registered 48,201 infections on Saturday – the highest number of new Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had previously prohibited unvaccinated The Germans from shops and restaurants in draconian Covid restrictions as a series of tougher measures for citizens who are not tough enforced.

Austria made vaccinations mandatory from 1 February and was preparing to throw itself into one brutal 20-day lockdown starting Monday.

Last night, similar protests against Covid-19 restrictions broke out in the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Italy and Northern Ireland after seven people were injured when Dutch police opened fire on anti-lockdown rebels.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Milan and Rome to protest against the Green Pass certificates, the vaccine passes required at the country’s restaurants, cinemas, theaters, arenas, clubs or gyms on Saturday.

At the same time, protesters gathered in Vienna to protest after the far-right opposition Freedom Party promised to fight new Covid restrictions.

In the Netherlands, riot police used water cannons to disperse a violent crowd of protesters who set fire to a police car and set off fireworks in one of Rotterdam’s main shopping districts as they struck the country’s three-week-long shutdown.

One recently A study has predicted that Europe could face another 300,000 deaths and one million people in the hospital “if Covid restrictions are not tightened further during the winter.

Protesters gathered in Vienna

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Protesters gathered in Vienna
Protesters clashed with police in Italy

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Protesters clashed with police in Italy
Protests turned into riots in Rotterdam

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Protests turned into riots in Rotterdam
Anti-lockdown protesters in Vienna clash with police hours after seven people were injured in violent marches in the Netherlands

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