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Two demonstrations expected to converge in Bois de la Cambre this weekend

Police pictured during the second edition of the illegal 'La Boum - L'Abime' festival, a protest against the current corona restrictions, at the Bois de La Cambre - Ter Kamerenbos, in Brussels, Saturday 01 May 2021. (BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK)
06:35 27/05/2021

The Bois de la Cambre in Brussels could be very busy again on Saturday as the third edition of La Boum is expected to take place there alongside another planned event, the European Demonstration for Freedom.

While no authorisation for the events has been given by the capital’s authorities as yet, thousands of people are expected to converge on the woods on 29 May, presenting a new challenge for the police who have stated that they will be out in force.

“Several events have been planned to take place in Bois de la Cambre on Saturday and we are working on a framework for this,” a police spokesperson said. “We will look at all the activities that have been planned first and we will be present where necessary.”

While around 22,000 people have responded to the Facebook event page of European Demonstration for Freedom, during which Willem Engel and Jeroen Pols, two Dutch “coronavirus sceptics” are expected to speak, interest in La Boum 3 appears to have waned. Just over 1,000 people have shown an interest on its Facebook page, compared to 18,000 for La Boum 2.

Earlier in May, the L’Abîme collective, the organisation behind the La Boum events, announced that it would be cancelling the third edition. “We throw in the towel in the face of so much incomprehension and hatred, after all that we have sacrificed for the cause,” the collective said. “It has finally finished us, despite all our efforts. L’Abîme is done, long live La Boum!”

However, despite this declaration, the Brussels authorities expect supporters of the collective to congregate in the woods on Saturday and are prepared for a repeat of the unrest and disorder which followed the previous two La Boum events.

Despite the prospect of more riots, Brussels mayor Philippe Close has once again refused calls to close the park to the public.

Written by Nick Amies