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Cyclist assaulted during Critical Mass rally in Brussels

Illustration picture shows a protest action of the Critical Mass movement, urging for better bicycle infrastructure, Friday 28 May 2021 in the city centre of Brussels. (BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK)
07:21 31/05/2021

A cyclist was assaulted during the latest Critical Mass cycling rally on Friday, according to a report in La Dernière Heure newspaper which was later confirmed by Brussels-Ixelles police.

The cyclist was attacked by three people who got out of a car. He received several blows to the head. Another cyclist who intervened in the incident beside the Canal in Schaerbeek posted his testimony on Facebook on Sunday. He explained that the victim was shaken by the attack and had to be transported from the scene in a vehicle. The man’s bicycle was also broken.

A spokesperson for Brussels-Ixelles police later confirmed that a report had been made out on the incident.

According to police estimates, about 3,000 cyclists participated in the rally, which began at 18.00. During the event, held every last Friday of the month, the cyclists ride side by side.

The person who intervened said few cyclists were present during the attack since most had been stopped for a moment by police further up the road. He also advised people to allow cars to pass as long as the main bunch of cyclists has not arrived and urged the organisers to improve security given the event’s increasing success.

The attack was widely condemned on Facebook. In reaction to the witness’s post, people also criticised the concept of Critical Mass which, they said, pits cyclists and motorists against each other without reason.

A reporter for La Dernière Heure who was present at the rally on Friday evening also reported that a man was seen panicking because he was unable to cross the mass of cyclists and take his sick wife to hospital.

Written by Nick Amies


Frank Lee

What is Critical Mass? Is it like the Roller Parade, a way to have fun, or is it a political demonstration? I don't quite get it.

May 31, 2021 14:33