22.3 C
Munich
Sunday, April 14, 2024

Fights, fires and a thousand tractors: The distinct elements to demonstrations in Brussels | World News

Must read


There were two distinct elements to the demonstrations in Brussels on Monday.

The main bit, with the best part of a thousand tractors squeezing into the centre, was a show of sentiment – a demand to politicians to listen to the demands of farmers.

But then came the second bit – the confrontational bit that involved fires, fights and, well, manure.

That was the bit which will get the attention, of course, and observing it was a visceral experience.

Image:
Police were pelted with protesters’ fireworks. Pic: Reuters

The acrid smell of burning tyres and the occasional volley of tear gas from the police.

The drenching rain from above, combined with the countless gallons that flooded streets from the various water cannon dotted around the city.

At one point, we watched as a water cannon spent ages firing water at a fire burning at the side of the street.

The fire was just behind a barricade, and the water just kept bouncing off.

Pic: AP
People burn straw and tyres during a protest by farmers outside the European Parliament as European leaders meet for an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. European Union leaders meet in Brussels for a one day summit to discuss the revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, including support for Ukraine. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)
Image:
Pic: AP


People gather as Belgian farmers use their tractors to block the European Union headquarters.
Pic: Reuters
Image:
Pic: Reuters

Read more:
Farmers spoiling for a punch-up in Paris
Hundreds of tractors chug towards Paris in protest
Tourists turned away from Eiffel Tower as workers strike

After five minutes, and with the street now flooded, the water cannon was turned off.

The first immediately sprang back up, just as fierce as ever.

The noise was relentless.

Farmers use tractors during a protest of European farmers over price pressures, taxes and green regulation, on the day of an EU Agriculture Ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium February 26, 2024. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Image:
Pic: Reuters

A person throws a bottle as water is spayed during a protest of European farmers over price pressures, taxes and green regulation, on the day of an EU Agriculture Ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium February 26, 2024. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Image:
Protesters were hit with water cannon. Pic: Reuters

The constant hoots from tractors, from the public address systems of an apparently endless line of farmers’ union leaders who wanted to make a speech, but mainly the cacophonous noise of small explosions.

Farmers have ready access to loud fireworks that they use to scare birds or, in this instance, the police or occasional journalists.

One was rolled to the feet of my colleague and I, exploding with a loud bang that left us with ringing ears.

As we looked up, startled, a group of laughing, braying faces stared at us from a few yards away.

Time to leave…



Source link

- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest articles