(EFE).- Some 8,000 people on Sunday took to the streets in Brussels to protest measures imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility of making vaccines mandatory as the two-week incidence rate of Covid-19 hit an all-time record of 2,127 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The rally began near the Belgian capital’s North Station and the crowd headed toward the European quarter, where the protesters displayed posters in defense of freedom and against the “dictatorship of stigmatization” of the unvaccinated.
The protest was mostly peaceful but some demonstrators threw projectiles and fireworks at the security forces – which were heavily deployed to maintain order – near the headquarters of the European Commission and Council.
Security forces responded to the unruly behavior with water cannons and tear gas, which brought the demonstration to an end.
The protesters claim that the Covid-19 digital certificate, which is required to enter bars, restaurants and some leisure events in Belgium is “contrary to fundamental rights and discriminatory”, according to Belgium’s Le Soir newspaper.
Some said they do not oppose vaccines but rather the possibility that they might be made mandatory for people other than healthcare personnel starting in January 2022.
The digital health certificate would also be compulsory for workers such as firefighters, who complain that 20 percent of their Brussels personnel (some 200 people) – who refuse to get vaccinated – could not work if they were required to present such a certificate, and who joined the protests on Sunday.
© 2021 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.