More than a thousand people responded to the D19-20 Alliance’s call – around 1,000 to 2,000, according to police- and have been circling the place where the EU summit took place since 7am on Friday. The Alliance is made up around a hundred organizations. The EU summit finished on Thursday around 11pm. No incidents were reported, the police said. During the demonstration, at around 9am, “FoodDrink Europe”, in the avenue Nerviens, and “Business Europe, in the avenue Cortenbegh, were occupied. Protestors came from France, Germany, and The Netherlands. The CNE and CGSP Unions were represented, as well as associations like Greenpeace, Fugea and the Ecolo party. Young people mobilized in large numbers. Three circles are in place around the Schuman roundabout in Brussels: the avenue Cortenbergh, the avenue de la Joyeuse entrée, and rue d’Archimède. Around thirty tractors are also present. Farmers fired compressed-air canons (normally use to scare birds off of fields) and hay bales were burned. A brass band played la Brabançonne. A demonstration will start at 10am to move around the EU summit.
“The European Council thinks that austerity should be increased and the negotiations for the TTIP (traité de libre-échange transatlantique, trans-Atlantic free exchange treaty) should end in 2015”, says Sébastien, one of the organizers. “The European Union fixes the level of austerity and national governments, like ours, follow it to the letter. It’s austerity that affects the poorest, those who live off their salary, not multinational companies and shareholders. We can see the result of this policy in Greece, Spain, or Italy. They are policies that don’t work and just breed more inequality”.