‘Freedom Convoy’ banned from Brussels, federal police to be deployed to Belgian borders

‘Freedom Convoy’ banned from Brussels, federal police to be deployed to Belgian borders
Credit: Belga

Brussels has issued a ban on a European version of a ‘Freedom Convoy,’ and says it’s ready to deploy federal, regional and local resources to prevent the blocking of the Brussels Capital Region by truck drivers protesting Covid-19 measures.

“Federal police will check motorised vehicles coming to demonstrate in Belgium at the Belgian border,” said a spokesperson for the city government.

“The Region and the City of Brussels will adopt a Decree prohibiting demonstrations by motorised vehicles on their territory. In practice, the police zones of the capital, with the assistance of the federal police, will divert motorised vehicles coming to the capital in violation of the ban.”

The cooperation between the three levels of government aims to minimise the impact on public order in the capital, police say.

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Belgium’s Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden will be working with Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort and the Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close.

The ‘Freedom Convoy’ in Canada, in which thousands of people and hundreds of trucks have been blocking the downtown area of the Canadian capital since 29 January, sparked calls for a similar protest action in Europe.

Translation: In order to deal with the freedom convoy that has not yet received permission to demonstrate, we are bringing federal, regional & local resources to bear in order to prevent the Brussels Region from being blocked.

Given that Belgium is considered “the capital of Europe,” Brussels was zeroed in on as the destination for a multi-country wide truck procession against coronavirus restrictions.

In just one week, 40,000 people joined a chat titled ‘World Freedom Convoy’ on Signal, an encrypted messaging app, hoping to make plans for more Freedom Convoys, concluding a European one.

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