'La Boum 3' seeks police approval for end of May gathering

'La Boum 3' seeks police approval for end of May gathering
Credit: Belga

Organisers of a series of large public gathering which ended in heavy police intervention in Brussels' Bois de la Cambre on two separate occasions are seeking approval to hold a third edition at the end of May.

According to a post on Facebook, "l'Abîme" has filed a request for authorisation to the Brussels-Ixelles police zone in order to organise a new gathering on Saturday 29 May at 2:00 PM.

As with the previous edition, La Boum 3 says it is motivated by the psychological state of the young people in the absence of social contacts during one year of confinement.

La Boum 2

This weekend saw La Boum 2 make headline across Belgium after police and water cannons were called in to evacuate the park due to coronavirus fighting measures not being respected.

A total of 132 people were arrested during the event, Ilse Van de keere, spokesperson of the Brussels Police Headquarters, Ixelles, told The Brussels Times.

"Fifteen people were given medical care by the Red Cross on the scene, 12 people were taken to hospital, of whom several were police officers, but they have been released from the hospital since," said Van de keere.

However, the third edition of the festival could be held under different circumstances to the first two if Belgium's coronavirus measures undergo significant changes in the coming month.

One such change could come after the ruling on Belgium's Pandemic law, which is currently facing review after two human rights leagues contested the legality of the measures introduced by the government to tackle the Covid-19 epidemic.

The organisations argued that the ministerial decrees introduced harsh measures restricting liberties and carrying fines were not constitutional. The tribunal of first instance agreed and ordered the government to pass its pandemic law by 1 May or face a penalty of €5,000 a day.

This deadline was extended until 18 May, delaying the date at which any fines would start, effectively extending the timeline before a new law will be seen.

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So What Would This Mean For La Boum 3?

Any pending change to Belgium's pandemic law or measures could inherently impact the likelihood of the event receiving official approval.

For the previous 2 events, the focus has been on the fact that the gathering breaks the rules, and as such, the police have been sent to break it up.

This particular issue was stressed the day before La Boum 2, with relevant authorities issuing a statement stressing that it remained unauthorised.

“Authorisation has not been given for the “La Boum 2″ event announced on social media and which is due to take place in the Bois de la Cambre,” the Mayor of the City of Brussels, the Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Brussels Capital Ixelles police zone said in a joint press release.

As such, the official advice was not to attend the event and continue to respect sanitary measures in the country.

“The Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office would like to remind you that any person fined for not respecting the sanitary measures during this event will be prosecuted in accordance with the criminal policy directives in force,” the statement ends.

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