Brussels city authorities ban ‘freedom convoy’ ahead of COVID protest


City mayor prohibits Canada-inspired trucker occupation.

Brussels authorities have prohibited the so-called European freedom convoy, the city’s Mayor Philippe Close announced Thursday.

In a tweet, Close said that Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden and Brussels region Minister President Rudi Vervoort jointly took the decision to ban the vehicle convoy, which “has not been authorized to demonstrate because no request has been sent.”

Inspired by ongoing protests taking place in Canada against coronavirus vaccine and mask mandates, demonstrators who oppose COVID-19 measures taken by national governments and the EU are planning to occupy cities in their vehicles. Convoys from across Europe were planning to arrive in Brussels on Monday.

Close added that measures will be “put in place to prevent the blocking of the Brussels-Capital Region.”

“This collaboration between the three levels of power aims to have the least possible impact on public order in the capital,” Close added.

The move follows the Paris police’s decision Thursday morning to ban the convoy protest. Convoys were expected to descend on the French capital Friday.

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