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Migration demo in Brussels to recreate Calais 'Jungle'

22:12 20/02/2018

Rows and rows of tents will be pitched in Brussels' Maximilian park this weekend in a symbolic action by migrants' rights campaigners that aims to show what a Calais-style "Jungle" would look like in the city centre.

Citizen support platform BXL Refugees hopes thousands of people will turn out for the demonstration from 14.00 on Sunday, which will call for a more humane asylum policy in Belgium.

BXL Refugees spokesman Mehdi Kassou said: "Brussels and Calais are not comparable. Here we have about 500-600 migrants. In Calais there are between 10,000 and 15,000."

He added: "The event is a call for a less closed and more humane policy on refugee reception. We want migrants to be able to apply for asylum here in Belgium without being sent back to Italy, Greece or Spain."

The protest action comes after widespread condemnation of a police raid and arrests at a migrants' art studio in Brussels, Globe Aroma, which aimed to provide a safe haven for refugees to express themselves through art.

Meanwhile a new political party set up by migrants, Be.One, is planning to put forward candidates for this October's Belgian municipal elections, targeting seats in Antwerp, Ghent, Mechelen and Brussels.