Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo made it clear that he does not want a third edition of “La Boum” in Brussels, after the organisers submitted a request to organise the event for a new edition on 29 May.
Reacting to the request for authorisation for “La Boum 3” filed by the l’Abîme collective on Monday morning, De Croo said that “[organising] an event like this is asking for trouble.”
“You attract people who only want to fight the police. Others who do not have that intention are dragged along,” he told VRT, adding that he is open to listening to young people, and understand what they are going through.
“However, anyone organising something like that, knows they are organising problems,” De Croo said. “And I am not going to have a dialogue with that. An event like this only leads to violence.”
He called on everyone to hold on a little longer, as the coming weeks will bring a lot of prospects, such as the reopening of the terraces on 8 May, when the country’s “outdoor plan” will also take effect.
“So, if we just have a little more patience, then everything is going to be allowed again without having to mobilise a large police force,” De Croo added.
This weekend saw La Boum 2 make headline across Belgium after police deployed water cannons to evacuate the park, resulting in 132 arrests and 12 people taken to the hospital, Ilse Van de keere, spokesperson of the Brussels-Ixelles police zone, told The Brussels Times.
On Sunday, Interior Affairs Minister Annelies Verlinden told local media that while she understood that everyone wanted to meet people again, she had “no sympathy whatsoever for those who take advantage of the coronavirus crisis to kick up a fuss, to provoke the police and to destroy things, we have to put a stop to that.”
She added that, the longer this situation goes on, the harder it gets, and that “the last metres are always the difficult ones, which is where we are now.”