Flemish MP says politicians at BLM protest should self-isolate

Flemish MP says politicians at BLM protest should self-isolate
© Belga

Brussels politicians who attended a massive Black Lives Matter demonstration should identify themselves and self-isolate, a member of the Brussels parliament said.

"Who was present? Are you going to reprimand them? And will they at least self-isolate?" Cieltje Van Achter, group leader for the nationalist N-VA in the Brussels parliament, said in questions meant for Brussels' regional leader.

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The MP is looking to set up a meeting with Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort in efforts to find out which government officials took part in the protest, which was allowed to go forward despite an ongoing ban on mass gatherings.

Regional ministers, MPs, local councillors and former federal ministers were spotted along the roughly 10,000 people who attended the demonstration, drawing sharp criticism from other public officials.

Brussels Culture and Youth Minister Sven Gatz and former Federal Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx were some of the officials seen at the protest.

"What struck me was that the Brussels government will, on the one hand, ask all Belgians to respect sanitary measures and, on the other, that members of the government go to the protest," Van Achter said.

The Flemish MP will launch a procedure to question the Vervoort in the parliament sometime next week.

"We are exiting a very serious crisis so, as minister-president, he needs to give some explanation," she added.

Brussels Mayor Philippe Close was also lambasted by some local officials for allowing the protest, which gave way to looting in nearby areas, to go forward.

Following a meeting with Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, the latter's cabinet said that leaders would be announcing guidelines for protesting without breaking social-distancing and sanitary rules against Covid-19.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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