About 70 persons demonstrated on Sunday afternoon in Brussels against the weeks-long curfew imposed in a bid to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
They described it as disproportionate, complained that it curtailed their freedom and argued that it had little effect against the virus.
“There isn’t a single study showing that it curbs infections,” said Amin Benaissa, initiator of the protest, held at Mont des Arts. “We advocate other measures that are proportionate.”
Benaissa said Sunday’s protestors were not linked to groups like the Viruswaanzin non-profit association that want all measures repealed. “We do not deny the existence of the virus either and we’re aware that measures are necessary,” he said. “But we mobilised with some of our friends when the use of drones and other things to check on people was brought up. We thought that was going much too far.”
Amin Benaissa is happy that, in the end, this did not happen. However, he said, “we still have the impression that only the virologists are taking part in decisions on the measures and that the opinions of legal experts and constitutional specialists are not being taken into consideration.”
The demonstrators felt the curfew excessively curtailed people’s freedom, “especially since it begins at 10 p.m,” the organiser said, adding that the curfew in Flanders, which begins at midnight, was more acceptable.
However, “even in that case, the question is knowing whether it is useful,” Benaissa argued. “There is already a ban on gatherings. What is the added value of the curfew to avoid lockdown parties for example?”
The protesters also feel that the absence of a “Corona law” – as a result of which all measures against the COVID-19 pandemic are issued by ministerial ordinance – demonstrates a lack of democratic legitimacy .