400 'yellow vest' rioters detained in Brussels

Demonstrators clashing with the police during the “yellow vest” protest over the cost of living and demanding the removal of Belgium’s centre-right coalition government in Brussels last Saturday. Police used water cannon and tear gas to keep pe
Demonstrators clashing with the police during the “yellow vest” protest over the cost of living and demanding the removal of Belgium’s centre-right coalition government in Brussels last Saturday. Police used water cannon and tear gas to keep people away from the European Union headquarters and the nearby Belgian government buildings.PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS • Belgian police detained more than 400 people after "yellow vest" protesters, inspired by riots in France, threw rocks and firecrackers and damaged shops and cars as they tried to reach official buildings in Brussels.

In the second instance of violence of its kind in the capital in eight days, a crowd - which police estimated at around 1,000 - faced riot squads last Saturday.

Police used water cannon and tear gas to keep people away from the European Union headquarters and the nearby Belgian government buildings.

Calm was restored after about five hours.

The movement in Belgium, inspired by the gilets jaunes, or yellow vest, protests in neighbouring France over the past month, has given voice to complaints about the cost of living and demanded the removal of Belgium's centre-right coalition government six months before a national election is due in May.

Belgian protesters, wearing the fluorescent yellow vests carried by all motorists for emergencies, also briefly blocked a motorway near Belgium's border with France.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2018, with the headline '400 'yellow vest' rioters detained in Brussels'. Print Edition | Subscribe