Small pro-armenian demonstration broken up in Ixelles, Brussels

15:10: Was skyping with a friend of mine, when I hear chanting & shouting out of the window. (I live on the fourth floor flat at a crossroad.) Looking out of the window I see police everywhere, running after people. In one particular instance, I see a guy run around a corner and take off. A policeman runs after him with his hand on his holster and shouts 'Stop!', so of course the guy does. The policeman and a colleague of him approach, the guy puts his hands out, and he's handcuffed relatively gently and walked off.

The main group of fleeing protestors are obscured by trees, but I see their escape route cut off by police vans. I hear some crashing and a couple of bangs, but nothing loud enough for a gunshot.

I cut the Skype call, get outside, and light a cigarette, on the logic that people don't think you're going to run off or heave a brick if you're smoking. There are plenty of bystanders in any case. The first word I hear is that it's a pro-Flemish demonstration. I was thinking back to last week, when Turkish rioters set an Iranian-Kurdish cafe on fire and torched bins in Schaebeek, the predominantly Turkish quartier of Brussels.

(The Turkish media has accused the EU countries of financing/supporting the P.K.K., something I find (a) difficult to believe, and (b) more likely a result of smearing all Kurds with the P.K.K. label. This probably explains that demonstration.)

The police soon block off the road with vans. I speak to a policeman standing next to one of the vans, who tells me that a pro-Armenian manifestation interdit (demonstration without a permit) was broken up. I saw some demonstrators who were just standing chatting with the police, so I assume the people who ran, did so because either they were either sans papiers (illegal immigrants), or with temporary residence status, making them liable for deportation. (or 'cos they thought they were going to get stomped, who knows?).

I counted a total of 6 police vans, 3 police cars, 2 police buses (the type meant for transporting prisoners) and one ambulance, which moved off in short order with siren blaring . Presumably there were some injured. One bus left shortly after, half-full, with about 12 handcuffed people inside. The other bus was empty.

And that's all there is to tell.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having heard the first part of the protest through Skype it sounded rather crazy.

Not as good as the dockers storming EU Parliament tho.