The security and policing operations, within the context of the US President Donald Trump’s visit, and that of several heads of state, passed off without incident. The visit took place in the Belgian capital on Wednesday and Thursday. The Mayor of Brussels City Council, Yvan Mayeur, said this on Thursday evening.
He was asked by the Belga press agency to make an initial assessment of this. The Mayor said that those arrested on Thursday afternoon, after the trunk road leading to the NATO headquarters was blocked, were about to be freed following the US President’s departure.
The Brussels-Capital/Ixelles police say that 91 activists had been subject to administrative detention at the crossroads of Avenue Jules Bordet and Boulevard Léopold III, close to the NATO headquarters.
The spokesman from the federal police said that thirty seven other activists, who scaled gantry cranes, overhanging the Brussels Inner Ring Road, to affix banners were also subject to administrative detention.
The police intervened on the Inner Ring Road in view of the dangerousness of the situation, as much for the safety of activists as road users.
Yvan Mayeur commented, “The police could not have done anything more. We could not allow attempts to stop the traffic.”
He went on, “Equally we could not take action based upon a particular request, from abroad, to prohibit a protest, and we could not prevent the heads of state from meeting.”
Relating to Wednesday, the Mayor of Brussels City Council did not conceal the fact that he also feared the organisation of a meeting by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an idea which the latter abandoned. To avoid incidents occurring, the police had no involvement with the 150 individuals who defied the prohibition on protesting.
Mr Mayeur further said that the opposition demonstration to Donald Trump’s arrival passed off without incident. He was pleased with the work done by the Brussels police during the two-day period.