The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

2019 record year for protests in Brussels

12:40 26/02/2020

More than a thousand protests took place in the capital last year – a historic first.

According to officials, the increase in protests compared to previous years stems from both new developments and long-time location factors.

“We allowed and supervised precisely 1,085 protests in 2019,” said Ilse Van de Keere, spokesperson for the Brussels Capital-Ixelles police zone.

Van de Keere told vrt nws that the number of protests in the capital has been rising for the last 10 years, adding that the reasons behind the increase were varied.

“Brussels is our capital. It’s logical that all ‘national’ protests take place here. Brussels is also the capital of Europe. There are protests during pretty much every summit. Finally, there are also a lot of embassies and institutions in Brussels,” Van de Keere explained, noting that statements made abroad often result in protests being organised in front of local embassies and institutions. “There were also the many climate protests in 2019 on top of that,” she said.

Anyone wanting to organise a protest in Brussels must submit a written request to the police ten days in advance.

Photo: Belga / Thierry Roge

Written by Linda A. Thompson