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Vandalism mars Brussels’ May Day demonstrations

11:11 02/05/2022

Demonstrations in Brussels on May Day, a day generally set aside for celebrating the achievements of labour, were marred by vandalism on Sunday.

Vandals caused destruction during the march from Saint-Gilles towards the centre of Brussels via Rue Haute and Rue Duquesnoy to Albertine-Square, where the procession ended.

Cars and several buildings were damaged, according to police for the Brussels Capital Ixelles zone.

People smashed the windows of a building in Rue Haute that houses Enabel, the Belgian development agency.

“Enabel regrets the actions of blind vandalism against our offices in Brussels,” the agency said on social media, publishing photos of the damage (pictured). “It is incomprehensible. Our work is aimed at eliminating inequality in the world. That is our fight.”

Some vandals wrote graffiti on cars and shop windows or smashed windows of vehicles. They wrote ‘trop cher,’ meaning ‘too expensive,’ and ‘ACAB,’ an abbreviation of All Cops Are Bastards. 

The PS headquarters, along with some bus shelters, were also damaged.

“A team will soon do the tour of the route and measure all the damage. We deeply regret this,” said police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere, adding that one person was arrested after the demonstration. 

According to police, about 500 people were present, while others speak of 600 to 700 demonstrators. Speeches touched on the rising costs of living, including record-high energy prices that are making it increasingly difficult for Belgians to pay their bills. 

 

Written by Helen Lyons