The reason: security services feared what has come to be known as a Nice or Berlin-style attack with terrorists using heavy vehicles to run over their victims and which subsequently also happened in both locations.
The Mayor of Brussels, Yvan Mayeur, indicated this yesterday (Wednesday), speaking before the Parliamentary Investigative Committee.
Cancelling the demonstration in memory of the victims, anticipated to take place in the centre of Brussels, had been officially justified owing to police capacity.
The police had been under immense strain since March 22nd, when the suicide bombers blew themselves up at Brussels Airport in Zaventem and in the Maelbeek metro station.
Last September, a number of media outlets had already revealed that the real reason was linked to an attack being planned during the gathering.
The two terrorists suspected were in fact linked to the El Bakraoui brothers, the two suicide bombers in the March 22nd attacks.
Mr Mayeur stated that the security services suspected a juggernaut might be driven into the crowds due to gather.
Mr Mayeur explained, “It is fair to say that what subsequently happened in Nice and Berlin is the reason why I was asked to stop the demonstration going ahead.”
On this occasion, the capital's Mayor was kept updated on the reason why the cancellation of the event was required.
This had not happened in December 2015 when the new year fireworks display had to be cancelled.
The Mayor stressed, “On that occasion, I had to stop the fireworks display going ahead and I still do not know why. I do not agree with such an approach. It is not right to hold someone responsible for a particular action, when the individual concerned does not know where their given decision fits into the overall picture.”
The Brussels Times
Brussels attacks: Anti-fear March cancelled due to concerns of Nice or Berlin-style attackThursday, 16 February 2017 14:51
The Anti-fear March which had been due to take place on March 27th, 2016, just a few days after the Belgium attacks, was cancelled.