The National Security Council will now decide whether demonstrations can take place. This is stated in a joint statement by the Brussels mayor Philippe Close (PS) and Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès (MR). Close was under attack because he had a demonstration against racism going on in the capital this weekend. After the peaceful manifestation, riots and looting arose.
Close met Prime Minister Wilmès this morning to discuss the course of events. The PS’er was accompanied by Michel Goovaerts, the chief of police of the Brussels-Capital-Ixelles police zone. Minister of the Interior Pieter De Crem (CD&V) was also present.
Afterwards, a joint communication was issued stating that Belgium is still in a health crisis and the protection of human health must remain a priority. “The basis of the meeting – the fight against racism and all forms of violence – was never questioned,” the press release said. However, holding the event is not in accordance with the current rules that apply during the health crisis.
It is the National Security Council that will decide from now on whether demonstrations can take place, just as it is also making decisions about the resumption of various social, cultural and economic activities during the corona crisis. The aim is to reconcile freedom of expression with the health rules in this Covid crisis and the management of public order, the statement said.
Mayor Close said afterwards that the conversation was “constructive”. He reiterated that protecting human health must remain a priority. Furthermore, the politician did not wish to comment.