A demonstration by the protestors known as the “gilets jaunes” or Yellow Vests from their adoption of a high-visibility jacket as a uniform, will take place in Brussels today after all, the Brussels-Ixelles police zone has confirmed. Earlier in the week, one of the organisers of the demonstration announced it was cancelled due to the conditions demanded by the police, to the anger of other members of the impromptu grouping, which is protesting at the rising cost of living outstripping salaries, and at the rise in price of diesel fuel in particular.
The movement started in France, was picked up first in Wallonia and has now come to Brussels.
The demo is due to assemble at the Cinquantenaire park at 13.00, before passing via Rond-Point Schuman to Rue de la Loi, eventually reaching the protected zone of the parliament and offices of ministers including the prime minister – a zone where no demonstrations of any kind are permitted.
According to police zone spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere, the march has not sought nor received a new permit. In such a case, the police gathers information and intelligence from a range of sources including social media on the group’s activities in the city. Directed confrontation is avoided as far as possible, particularly considering violence, in particular property damage, which has occurred at demonstrations in Wallonia.
Aside from the meeting at Cinquantenaire, rumours are also circulating regarding a gathering at the corner of Arts-Loi at 10.00, at Cinquantenaire at midday and, at an unspecified time, at the Grand Place.
The likelihood of disruption of traffic in the areas concerned is considered high, with motorists advised to find alternative routes.