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Belgian police and partygoers discuss virus restrictions

BRUSSELS

A few thousand people gathered for an illegal party in a park in Brussels on Saturday to protest the restrictions of COVID-19, only to come across a large police force that used a water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

It was the second outdoor meeting in a month. Again, the majority of young people disregarded the appeals of the government and the capital to stay away and respect the rules of wearing masks and social distancing.

The police arrived early at the La Cambre forest after being told that the party would be organized. The clashes erupted after large crowds began to gather in the late afternoon.

Some protesters gathered around a fire shouting “Freedom!” and “Where’s the party? Here’s the party! ”Some shot at the police with objects.

Belgium still has strict rules that prohibit large meetings and insists that people wear masks in large crowds.

The Brussels prosecutor’s office had warned that the police would be sent to the park and that anyone who violated the restrictions could be prosecuted. It was not clear how many people were arrested or injured. At least one person was seen being carried on a stretcher and placed in an ambulance.

Two dozen people were arrested during the illegal party last month and several people were injured.

The police use tear gas and a water cannon to disperse collectors in Bois de la Cambre park during a party called “La Boum 2” in Brussels, Saturday, May 1, 2021. The police placed extra patrols on Saturday to monitor the meeting which is taking place in disagreement with Belgium’s current COVID-19 regulations. (AP Photo / Olivier Matthys) Police try to disperse waste pickers in Bois de la Cambre park during a party called “La Boum 2” in Brussels, Saturday, May 1, 2021. The police placed extra patrols on Saturday to monitor the meeting that is being carried out in disagreement with Belgium’s current COVID-19 regulations. (AP Photo / Olivier Matthys) Police try to disperse waste pickers in Bois de la Cambre park during a party called “La Boum 2” in Brussels, Saturday, May 1, 2021. The police placed extra patrols on Saturday to monitor the meeting that is being carried out in disagreement with Belgium’s current COVID-19 regulations. (AP Photo / Olivier Matthys)

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