The Belgian federal and local police forces blocked the Canada-style “Freedom Convoy” procession of cars that planned to gridlock Brussels with a protest across the capital city centre.
“We have spotted between 400 to 500 cars and campervans. About 30 vehicles were blocked, while the others evaporated into the wild,” Brussels Mayor Philippe Close told RTBF radio on Monday.
Police were deployed on the outskirts of Brussels to prevent the protesters’ vehicles from entering the city, reports Xinha news agency.
Around 130 vehicles, including those from France and the Netherlands, were redirected to the Brussels Expo parking lot on the outskirts of the city, the only place where static action was tolerated.
“The protesters must not take the capital hostage,” Close said.
In the city centre, a few gatherings of around a hundred people were observed in various places, in the Quays Quarter and around the Cinquantenaire park in particular.
Thirty people were arrested, said the Brussels-Capital police.
Meanwhile, police forces were also deployed at Brussels Airport, where a group of demonstrators blocked the main pathways.
The organisers of the protest had not received permission to demonstrate.
The “Freedom Convoy” protests were started in Canada’s capital Ottawa by truckers opposed to a vaccinate-or-quarantine mandate for cross-border drivers.