In Brussels, the police cleared the Bois de la Cambre. In the course of the afternoon, around 2000 people gathered in the park for the second edition of the illegal festival La Boum. After the evacuation, scattered groups of barricades threw up with tree branches. Groups also spread in surrounding streets.
The police proceeded to evacuate around 5.30 p.m., for “non-compliance with the sanitary measures”. Before that, the tension had already risen quite a bit. There were brawls between different groups, smoke bombs were thrown and policemen were caged with sticks and stones.
According to De Morgen, the atmosphere was “particularly grim”. Part of the mass had moved to a nearby field where a large fire was fired from wood and waste. A few hundred protesters in completely black clothes and with a black hood over their heads played a cat-and-mouse game with the police.
The entrances to the park were barricaded and the police used tear gas to scare away the troublemakers. Around 8:30 the weather was quiet in the park.
Police seized hundreds of cops, water cannons and horses:
During the evacuation, the police deployed tear gas and water cannons. Belga news agency reports that someone was hit by the water cannon, but according to police, he was hit by a jet of water. Some others would also have been injured during the evacuation.
At least 16 people were arrested. On Twitter, police showed pictures of what was seized at the time of the arrests. That ranged from knives to a homemade explosive.
La Boum 2 was organized by young people who are tired of corona measures. The first edition of the festival, exactly one month ago, got out of hand. At the time of the evacuation, dozens of people were injured, including 26 police officers. Seven police horses were also injured.
Sixteen infantry platoons
According to Belgian media, 750 agents have been sent to the party this time. It was supposed to be 16 infantry platoons of 40 agents each. There would also have been several civilian arrest teams present in the park and 18 officers on horseback. Furthermore, the police had deployed a helicopter and drones and a number of police dogs.
In addition, the city of Brussels had also deployed 40 stewards to remind people of compliance with the coronare rules.