Funfair vendors to stage protest in Brussels despite gathering ban
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    Funfair vendors to stage protest in Brussels despite gathering ban

    © Belga/NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

    Fairground vendors are planning to drive their vehicles through the Belgian capital to bring attention to the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis and demand support from the government.

    On social media, fairground merchants are calling on stall owners across Belgium to travel to the capital on Friday and stage a protest to demand support from authorities.

    The sector was dealt a blow on Monday after authorities cancelled this year’s edition of Brussels’ Foire du Midi, just days after it was set to kick-off for the whole month of August.

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    News that the funfair was cancelled saw other towns and cities move to either scrap their own local fairs, such as Charleroi, or imposed strict restrictions for them go forward.

    “We feel like a forgotten sector,” fairground representatives told HLN.  In a move independent from unions or fairground federations, some are planning to defy a current ban on gathering and stage a protest in the capital.

    “A number of young fairground merchants are tired of being treated unfairly by politicians,” Patrick De Corte, who runs a family-owned fairground stall, told Bruzz.

    “We must do something to protect our economy,” De Corte said, adding that he will be present in Brussels on Friday for a demonstration which will see some vendors take over the streets with their fairground cars.

    “It will be a peaceful action. We do not want to block the city, but it is certain that there will be many fairground vehicles,” De Corte said.

    Ilse Van de Keere, the spokesperson for the Brussels-Ixelles police zone, said that no application had been submitted for the demonstration, but that the police zone was in contact with the organisers.

    The Brussels Times