On Monday evening, traffic signs and barriers installed as part of the new 'Good Move' traffic circulation plan in the Cage-aux-Ours neighbourhood in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek, were dismantled by opponents of the plan.
The third and final phase of the regional Good Move plan – which aims to make Brussels neighbourhoods largely car-free – was launched in the Cage-aux-Ours neighbourhood in Schaerbeek. While there is a lot of support for the changes, some vocal critics protested the changes in Place Stephenson and Place du Pavillon.
"A few dozen protesters took down poles and signs in these squares. Neighbours who asked questions about this were threatened," said citizens' collective 1030/0, which is strongly in favour of the new traffic plan.
"This kind of verbal abuse and intimidation infuriates us."
The protestors gathered on Place Stephenson around 18:00, and various people, including politicians in the municipal opposition Georges Verzin and Abobakre Bouhjar, expressed their dissatisfaction with the plan.
"This is supposed to reduce traffic, but it achieves just the opposite: all cars have to drive in circles," one protestor told Bruzz, stressing that they want to avoid vandalism or riots. "We mobilise the whole neighbourhood, but we also make it clear that we do not want any situations like in Anderlecht or Molenbeek. But I fear that this is what will happen if the municipality does not listen."
The police were present to prevent any unrest, as the demonstration echoed the opposition in Anderlecht's Cureghem district and in Jette's Lecharlier district, where the mobility plans proposed by the municipalities have since been temporarily suspended.
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Pieter Fannes, spokesperson for the citizen collective for road safety and better public space Heroes for Zero, witnessed how a few dozen protesters took removed several poles on Place Stephenson and the signs on the Place du Pavillon. "A neighbour who asked why was threatened with a hammer. Parents of children going to the Pavillon school are distraught and get called on to take action all the time."
"Again: I understand that some local residents are dissatisfied and protesting. That is their right. What I do not accept are politicians who bring people in from god knows where and then flee when things predictably go wrong. That is pure cowardice."