National demonstration against anti-police violence set for 28 November

National demonstration against anti-police violence set for 28 November
Credit: Belga

A “national demonstration” against violence targeting the police will be held on Monday 28 November in Brussels, following Thursday’s knife attack in Schaerbeek that killed a police officer.

The decision to stage the protest was made on Friday by police unions, according to Joeri Dehaes, secretary of CSC-Police, the police arm of the Confederation of Christian trade unions.

Violence against the police is unacceptable, the joint trade union front said in a leaflet. The unions are also demanding greater respect for the police, including from the federal government and the judiciary.

Mr Dehaes described the fatal stabbing of the police officer by a radicalised ex-convict as a “cowardly and deliberate murder”.

“The perpetrator was known for his radicalism, his extremism. He had a prison record. He came forward. And then the prosecutor said he could do nothing. This defies all imagination,” the trade unionist commented.

He also called for more respect from the federal government, pointing out that a previously agreed salary increase had been partly cancelled, while the advantageous pension scheme for police officers is to be phased out by 2030.

“Stop the attacks on the police,” Dehaes said.

Another police union, the SLFP-Police, also reacted strongly to this “umpteenth case of violence against the police in the Brussels-Capital Region,” attacking both the government and the judiciary.

The man arrested after stabbing two police officers on Thursday evening in Schaerbeek is a 32-year-old radicalised ex-convict named Yassine M., who was already on the watchlist of the Coordination Body for Threat Analysis, OCAM.

The attacker was known to the police for common crimes, according to the federal prosecutor’s office.

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