Belgian police detain 132 in virus restrictions protest

World News

Police use a water cannon against protestors at the Bois de la Cambre park during a party called “La Boum 2” in Brussels, Saturday, May 1, 2021. A few thousand people gathered for an illegal party in a Brussels park Saturday to protest COVID-19 restrictions, only to be met with a big police force who used a water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowd. It was the second such open-air gathering in a month. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Police have detained 132 people who took part in an illegal party in a Brussels park to protest COVID-19 restrictions, authorities said Sunday.

About 15 people, including protesters and police, were injured in clashes, police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere said.

About 2,000 revelers and protesters had massed in the park Saturday for the second time in a month, and police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse them.

Scattered around, police and protesters clashed until deep in the evening. The government and police had warned people for a week to stay away from the party to no avail. Clashes erupted after big crowds started gathering late in the afternoon.

Some protesters gathered around a bonfire shouting “Freedom!” and “Where is the party? Here is the party!” Some pelted the police with objects.

Belgium still has strict rules banning major gatherings and insists on people wearing face masks in large crowds.

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