BRUSSELS, POLICE ARRESTS 19 PACIFISTS Among them there was also the president of the Belgian League of Human Rights, Alexis Deswaef

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This morning, Brussels Police has detained 19 participants of a peaceful demonstration against racism in front of the memorial of the victims of the attacks on the Bourse (March 22 last year). Among the arrested there is also the president of the Belgian League of Human Rights Alexis Deswaef. Whereas public events and any other kind of events have been banned throughout the entire Region of the Capital after the rejection of the French extremist movement Génération Identitaire that wanted to protest in the street of Molenbeek against Islam.

The protesters, who are currently under detention, had refused to leave the square of the Bourse, which was later temporarily closed, in a tense atmosphere. Now calm has returned. About ten people have been handcuffed. Some protesters have shouted in chorus: “Stop police brutality.” The president of the League of Human Rights said that, once he arrived on the spot, police ordered him to leave, informing him that “both far-left and far-right manifestations have been forbidden.” Deswaef responded that “he was there in quality of a simple citizen”, but he has been arrested together with the others, and brought to the barracks of Etterbeek in a police van. According to witnesses, policemen in the square were much more numerous than the anti-war protesters.

In Molenbeek – the Belgian agency of information reports -, there is heavy police presence, in case Generation Identitaire militants decide to show up despite the demonstration ban. The invitation to participate was not removed from the site of the French far-right movement. Thirty people, dressed in black, had gathered in Dilbeek, in Flemish Brabant, early in the morning, for an anti-Islam march. There have not been disorders or accidents.

Brussels Airport will reopen tomorrow. The first flights from the Belgian capital are going to be those of Brussels Airlines towards Faro, Athens, and Turin.

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