A collective protest by organisations representing sectors directly affected by the coronavirus crisis has been announced for Monday morning, which will involve a slow-down operation on the Brussels Ring Road and a rally at the Atomium, to draw attention to their situation after one year of inactivity.
The go-slow protest will be held during peak hours between 9:00 and 10:00 AM, and will be followed by the rally, according to the collective, which represents the hospitality, events, fairs-and-markets, catering, food-truck, and nightlife sectors.
“We have been applying the rules unblinkingly and consenting to the requested investments and protocols to guarantee the safety of the population and of our customers,” it added. “Each one of us is closed and is feeling the full economic and psychological force of the decisions aimed at improving the health situation," the group said in a statement issued on Sunday.
It said its action was aimed at drawing the authorities’ attention once more to these sectors’ situation of “great distress.”
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It noted that the affected sectors have complied "dutifully and with a sense of responsibility with the many directives imposed by our governments and experts" for a year now.
"One year later, we are forced to note that the sacrifices made by our professions and our families and staff members are not taken decently into consideration,” the collective said.
It appealed to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and the federal government for equal treatment and economic support in all regions of the country.
A first convoy, comprising of demonstrators mainly from the provinces of Namur, Liège, and Luxembourg, will take off at 8.30 AM from the Bierges rest stop on the E411 with the aim of arriving on the Brussels Ring Road at the Léonard roundabout around 9 AM.
The vehicles will then drive at 70 km/h on the two high-speed lanes up to Heysel.
The second convoy, made up of participants from Brussels and Hainaut, will start out at 8.45 AM from the Ruisbroek rest stop on the E19 to arrive at the Brussels Ring Road at Anderlecht at 9 AM and proceed from there to the Heysel Plateau.
All demonstrators will then travel to the foot of the Atomium, where a number of speeches are planned before the crowds disperse at 11 AM.
The event’s organisers have assured the public that access to the Heysel vaccination centre will not be hampered.
The Brussels Times