Hundreds of prison officers and union activists demonstrated today in the center of Brussels. They gathered this morning (17 May) outside the headquarters of the center-right party Mouvement Reformateur (MR) at Avenue de la Toison d’Or and threw firecrackers in protest against how the federal government is handling the strike in the prisons in Brussels and Wallonia.
Some dozen of them tried to block the access tunnel Porte de Hal, located nearby.
Afterwards the protestors moved to the office of the Federal Justice, where dozens of them managed to break into the building.
In a statement the Minister of Justice Koen Geens expressed his “deep indignation at the senseless violence which took place before a planned meeting with a delegation of prison officers.”
He “regrets in the strongest words the destruction and the fact that staff at the reception of his office were in shock.”
“Although the Minister has always been willing to talk with a delegation, the prison officers refused to meet him,” his cabinet said.
Koen Geens will meet again a delegation of prison officers on Tuesday afternoon. “The Minister is more determined than ever to carry out the prison reform that he has promised,” the statement concluded.