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Brussels young people work as mediators in Blankenberge to prevent further violence

11:21 17/08/2020

A group of young people from Brussels, Mechelen and Grimbergen came to Blankenberge this weekend, in an initiative to stop a repeat of the previous weekend's violence.

Working with prevention teams from Blankenberge and in cooperation with the police, they walked along the beach to ensure that security measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing were being respected. 

Belgian television presenter/entertainer Vinz (Kanté) from the RTBF platform ‘Tarmac’ explained the project came about after he had the chance to speak to Blankenberge’s police commissioner.

“We emphasised the importance of keeping a dialogue,” he said, adding it was essential not to associate all young people with the few that caused the 8 August beach fights.

“We must stop thinking that a person, just because he is from the Maghreb or black, is de facto a bad person,” Vinz said. “It’s important to show that we are all human beings capable of discussion and communication.” 

He said the results of the project had been promising, adding: “Why not repeat the operation next week and the one after and along the whole of the Belgian coast?” 

Apart from a small incident involving Bruges football club supporters on Saturday night, Blankenberge remained very calm this Assumption weekend.

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Written by Liz Newmark