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    Brussels to reimburse shops looted after BLM protest

    © Belga

    The more than a dozen shops that were looted and trashed after a massive Black Lives Matter protests in Brussels will receive financial support from the City of Brussels.

    The city council on Monday unanimously agreed to foot all insurance-related expenses of 16 businesses who were damaged in the aftermath of the protest on 7 June.

    The cost of the initiative is still unknown, as it will depend on the cost of the franchises that each shop will have to pay.

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    Mayor Philippe Close is set to hold a meeting with the business owners on Wednesday, according to De Standaard.

    Opposition lawmakers from the nationalist N-VA, centrist CdH and liberal CD&V supported the initiative but pushed Close to disclose the costs, adding that he was responsible after choosing to tolerate the protest.

    Amid a global surge of support for anti-racism protests in the US, Close opted to tolerate a BLM protest in Brussels which saw roughly 10,000 attendants crowd Place Poeolaert, despite a ban on gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    After the demonstration, which remained static on the same square for hours, ended, groups of looters and rioters began plundering and trashing nearby shops, many of them luxury retail chains.

    Some groups of rioters also clashed with police, who were hit with several accusations of undue use of force and unjust arrests.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times