BRUSSELS – Belgian police fired tear gas and water cannons on the demonstrators with yellow protest and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Charles Michel after trying to break a riot barrier when the movement started in Francebecame noticeable on Saturday in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The demonstrators in Brussels threw paving stones, traffic signs, firecrackers, torches and other objects against the police that blocked their entry into an area where Michel's offices, other government buildings and the Parliament are located. The Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere said that around 400 protesters were gathered in the region.
The reasons for the protests are not completely clear. Neither Belgium nor the Netherlands have proposed an increase in fuel tax – the catalyst for the massive and destructive demonstrations in France in recent weeks.
Instead, protesters seemed, at least in part, to have come from a populist movement that sees itself in general government policy and the resulting growing gap between mainstream politicians and the voters who bring them to power. Some in Belgium were just out to confront the police.
Earlier in Brussels, the police used pepper spray and crawled around with a small group of demonstrators trying to break a barricade that blocked access to the European Parliament and the other important institutions of the European Union.
The rallies, which began in various parts of the city and met in the European Quarter, disrupted the road and rail traffic on one of the busiest Christmas shopping days of the year.
A banner behind the banner "social winter is coming," sang the demonstrators "(French President Emmanuel) Macron, Michel resigns." When they arrived, scores of people were searched and the police warned people to stay away from the area.
Several hundred police officers were mobilized. Last week, protesters from the Yellow Vest clashed with police and torched two police vehicles in the same area. More than 70 people were arrested.
In the Dutch city of Rotterdam, a few hundred demonstrators in the vests, which have become a symbol of the movement, walked peacefully over the Erasmus bridge in the city center, sang a song about the Netherlands and gave the passers-by flowers.
Among them were the sisters Beb and Ieneke Lambermont at the age of 76 and 67 respectively.
"Our children are hardworking people, but they have to pay taxes everywhere, they can not get shelter, Dutch society is not doing well," said Ieneke. "The social network we grew up with is gone," she said.
About 100 demonstrators gathered for a peaceful demonstration in front of the Dutch parliament in The Hague. At least two demonstrators were arrested by police in the center of Amsterdam.
Jan Dijkgraaf, editor of a Dutch "resistance newspaper," had called for peaceful protests in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Dijkgraaf said that people long for a social just history in Dutch history. She described it as "a sense of unity", but also for caring for asylum seekers who take good care of each other.
In France, flocks of yellow-guarded protesters gathered over French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday, and the country's high taxes were trying to gather in the presidential palace, some of which were shot at by police officers with tear gas. By midday, according to the BBC News, up to 5,000 protesters had gathered in the center of Paris. More than 500 people have been detained in the city, reported a Paris police spokeswoman, reported The Associated Press.
While on Saturday in the center of Paris scattered brawls erupted, the action seemed to be less violent at noon than at the same time a week ago. Crowds were plunged into chaos and destruction last weekend, and 400 people were arrested, Charlie D & # 39; Agata told CBS News.
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