- A fake music festival that started as an April Fools’ Day prank led to multiple injuries and arrests.
- Attendees of the “La Boum” festival clashed with police at a park in Brussels, Belgium.
- Videos show police using water and pepper spray to break up thousands of people.
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Police in Brussels, Belgium, clashed with partygoers who attended a fake music festival that violated the country’s current COVID-19 measures.
Thousands of people congregated at Bois de la Cambre park for the April Fools’ Day prank posed as a festival called LA BOUM. The event’s anonymous coordinators and the city of Belgium warned the gathering was fake and that police presence would be ramped up before the event amid COVID-19 concerns, The Brussels Times reported.
According to The Times, as attendees failed to leave the park, police in riot gear unleashed water cannons and used pepper spray to clear the crowd during the confrontation.
A police spokesperson told The Associated Press 22 people were arrested, several police officers were injured, and at least two people were hospitalized. A video posted online appears to show a person get knocked over by police on horseback.
A video published by the New York Times shows the chaotic scene as Brussels police try to break up the crowds.
-The New York Times (@nytimes) April 3, 2021
“I understand everyone is tired of corona,” De Croo wrote, according to a translated version of the tweet. “But the rules are there for a reason and for everyone. Hospitals are filling up. Solidarity now is the key to freedom tomorrow.”
Belgium officials introduced stricter restrictions late last month in response to a third wave of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, according to Reuters. Under the latest order, outside gatherings in the country are limited to four people. Schools, hair salons, and some stores were also set to close for four weeks.
According to the Reuters COVID-19 tracker, Belgium has had 887,920 cases and 23,045 deaths from the coronavirus.