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Up to 5,000 Black Lives Matter protesters rally in Brussels

ANI | Updated: Jun 07, 2020 21:54 IST


Brussels [Belgium], June 7 (Sputnik/ANI): Between 4,000 and 5,000 protesters demonstrated in front of the Palace of Justice in the Belgian capital of Brussels on Sunday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, a Sputnik correspondent said.
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close allowed the protest to go ahead "to make a gesture to the anti-racist associations" despite the coronavirus-related ban on mass gatherings. He urged demonstrators to follow social distancing rules, but they were largely ignored.
The "static action" against police brutality toward black people began on Place Poelaert at 3 p.m. (13:00 GMT). Many of those attending were from the city's black community, living in the area known as "Matonge," close to the Palace of Justice.

Speakers who took the podium at the rally criticized the Belgian police for being racist and violent and denounced Belgium's colonial past, demanding that it tear down all statues of King Leopold II, who colonized the Congo in the late 1800s. Palestinian flags were also visible in the crowd and there were calls to fight capitalism.
The demonstration was peaceful and the police presence was limited to avoid clashes. Store owners in the Uptown shopping area were alarmed at the prospect of looting seeing in many US cities in the wake of George Floyd's death but it did not come to that.
The Black Lives Matter Belgium movement held another march in Brussels on Monday to protest Floyd's death at the hands of a white US police officer. On Saturday, there were smaller demonstrations organized in Liege, Spa and other Belgian cities. (Sputnik/ANI)

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