COVID-19: The Coronavirus has claimed nearly 10,000 victims in Belgium
More than 200 people demonstrated in Brussels on Sunday against the anti-Covid restrictions, in their view of freedom, some accusing the public authorities and experts of being in the pay of the pharmaceutical industry.
“Corona circus”, “it’s my body, it’s my choice”, could we read on the signs. The anger of the demonstrators took on a conspiratorial accent, aiming at the wearing of the compulsory mask, the vaccines, as well as the American billionaire Bill Gates or 5G.
“It is not virologists and doctors who will dictate the rules in our country”, denounced Michel, a protester preferring to keep his name silent, confiding his weariness that “we are taken for children”. Wearing a mask became mandatory on August 12th throughout the territory of the Brussels region (1.2 million inhabitants), against the backdrop of the resurgence of the pandemic in a country where it has killed nearly 10,000 people.
The call to protest had been launched a few days earlier on social media by a group of citizens under the slogan “Viruswaanzin” (“viral madness” in Dutch), a local version of a movement that appeared in the Netherlands.
It was accompanied by a request for resignation from the Flemish virologist Marc Van Ranst, one of the most prominent members of the college of experts consulted by the Belgian government on the pandemic, and who is also in the crosshairs of the extreme Flemish right for its pronounced positions on the left on social issues.
“No to this masquerade”
The rally was held at the foot of an administrative tower in the centre of Brussels, where the demonstrators were invited to follow one another in small groups to file a letter demanding the resignation of Marc Van Ranst.
Some demonstrators were masked, others were not. A man was wearing an orange life jacket with the inscription “ready for the second wave”. Beside him, another protester had written on his T-shirt: “no to this masquerade”.
“The goal (of the virus) is vaccination and that virologists who are on television receive small envelopes from pharmaceutical laboratories, we know”, said a woman visibly convinced by conspiracy theories interviewed by the French-speaking channel RTBF.