Catalonia crisis: 20,000 separatists to protest in Brussels on Thursday
Tuesday, 05 December 2017
Ilse Van de Keere, the Police spokeswoman for the Brussels-Ixelles police, has indicated that 20,000 Catalan separatists will meet on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Parc du Cinquantenaire public park in Brussels. They will leave the park at 11 a.m. to move to Place Jean Rey. It is anticipated that the demonstration will disperse at 2 p.m.
The Catalan National Assembly (known in Brussels as the “ANC”) and Òmnium Cultural (the two Catalan separatist organisations promoting Catalan independence and organising this demonstration in Brussels), are expecting in the region of 20,000 people. A communiqué from both organisations states, “Around half of these will come by car, 4,000 will take the bus and more than 2,500 will come by aeroplane.”
The communiqué goes on to state that other demonstrators will come in campers or by train. Buses have been scheduled at the airport to take those coming by aeroplane to the demonstration location. The day before, the separatist organisations will organise a press conference to reveal details of the event. Using the slogan “Europe: Wake up! Let’s stand up for democracy”, they intend to show their support for the deposed Catalan government.
The police have organised various preparatory meetings. The Brussels-Ixelles Police Intelligence Service has contacted the organisers, and will stay in contact with them until the end of the event. To date, there is no counter-demonstration known to be taking place.
Moreover the police will take charge of transport in Brussels on the day. In addition, there will be reserve police forces formed on the day with support from the federal police and possible requests for help from other local police zones. The Montgomery area (Etterbeek, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre), located close to the Parc du Cinquantenaire, will be particularly affected, and is perhaps likely to face transport issues on the day.