1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

'Freedom Convoy' protest reaches Brussels

February 14, 2022

Hundreds of protesters in cars, vans and trucks have headed to the Belgian capital to demand an end to COVID-19 restrictions, despite a ban preventing them from entering the city.

Participants in the so-called "freedom convoy" wave French flags as they gather for an unauthorised demonstration in the center Brussels
Protesters in a so-called "freedom convoy" have managed to make their way into Brussels on foot after police stopped vehicles from entering the cityImage: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

A group of "freedom convoy" protesters reached Brussels Monday, with police in the Belgian capital partially blocking the main access routes into the city and redirecting vehicles to a car park on the outskirts. 

Brussels mayor Philippe Close told local RTBF radio that a total of 400-500 cars and vans had been spotted en route to Brussels. Most of the vehicles came from France, where a similar protest took place over the weekend. 

"It is a matter of not allowing the Belgian capital to be taken hostage," Close said.

He said protesters might be allowed to enter Brussels on foot, although authorities have banned vehicles in the Canada-style protest convoy from entering the city.

A protester gestures towards riot police in Brussels
Some of the protesters have traveled from France following weekend protests in ParisImage: Jonas Roosens//BELGA MAG/AFP/Getty Images

Protesters make it into Brussels despite counter measures

Reuters news agency reported seeing around 150 to 200 protesters in the city center.

A French protester called Philippe, who traveled from the weekend's protest in Paris, told members of the media that he was protesting for his children. 

"I came particularly for our children's future. I don't see how my children can live in the world as it is now. Freedom is swept aside, there's more and more poverty. Even when you work,when the 15th of the month comes round, you haven't got enough to live on," Philippe said.

A similar ban did not prevent protesters from converging on Paris in neighboring France over the weekend.

They blocked roads and caused traffic jams around the Arc de Triomphe in the city's center.

The "Freedom Convoy" protests began in Canada, with Canadian truckers opposing a vaccine mandate for cross-border transport. However, the movement has sparked similar protests in Europe. 

lo/wmr (AFP, Reuters)

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

 Ethnic Armenians from the first group of about 30 people from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia lineup waiting to be temporarily checked into a hotel in Goris, the town in Syunik region, Armenia, Sunday, September 24, 2023
Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage