Riot police, water cannons and tear gas have been deployed in Brussels this evening after thousands gathered at an illegal outdoor party. Shocking footage shows hundreds of riot police members move into Bois de la Cambre, the largest park in the centre of the Belgian capital. Several thousands of party-goers attended the illegal party known as La Boum 2 in breach of Covid rules.
Videos posted online show water cannons driving across the park spraying at party attendees as the riot police attempted to disperse the gathering.
Some of the party-goers could be seen throwing cans and other projectiles at the riot police.
At 5:25 PM local time, the Brussels police announced on Twitter that they would proceed to evacuate the park.
They said that party-goers were not respecting Covid regulations, such as face masks and social distancing measures.
According to local reports, many protesters called the action taken by the police “disproportionate”.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo had earlier urged people not to attend the party, which garnered more than 9,000 attendees on Facebook.
After talks with Belgian authorities, the social media giant blocked the event page on Thursday this week.
Reporting live from Brussels, Sky News’ Adam Parsons said: “This park, it is the lung in the middle of Brussels.
He added: “As the police moved in this afternoon, four water cannons fired on the crowd and there was a lot of tear gas.
“There are still pockets of people having a party and a protest.
“It is an expression of frustration. The third wave is still with us in Belgium.”
The event was a ‘sequel’ to a similar party organized as an April Fools’ joke on 1 April, which drew thousands of people to the Bois de la Cambre and also ended in riots.