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Thousands cry ″freedom″ against pandemic restrictions

Thousands of protesters marched in Brussels to oppose the rules to combat the coronavirus. There was no repeat of the violence that marked the previous and larger demonstrations in the Belgian capital, although police intervened to surround a small group that approached the European Union headquarters.

As he marched through the city, the crowd – 5000 people according to the police – chanted “freedom, freedom!” and brandished banners denouncing what they called a “vaccine dictatorship.”

Before the march began, police arrested 11 people for carrying fireworks. 30 more arrests were made at the end, after a small group threw “projectiles” at the police.

Belgium requires residents to present the digital certificate to enter bars, restaurants and cultural events, and there have been several recent street protests.

On Sunday, health minister Frank Vandenbroucke called in a televised interview for a parliamentary debate on tighter rules as Belgium sees Covid cases soar with the spread of the Ómicron variant.

“People’s opinion is changing. A year ago, I said: mandatory vaccination is not a good idea, we need to convince people. Now, knowing that we really need to vaccinate 100% of the population – which was not our idea a year ago, we thought 70% was enough – we still need some acceptance”.

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