Towards the end of the tenth edition of ‘Carnaval Sauvage’, people gathered at Thurn and Taxis to build a large campfire, but the police intervened to maintain public order. The participants in the party speak of disproportionate violence. Two officers were also injured.
“With my friends, we were at the back of the crowd. The police surrounded us, they were behind us and to our right. The police started beating with shields and batons, I was hit in the back myself,” says Louis to BX1 News.
His friends received three blows to the head, he says. “A friend had multiple stitches on her head. Another also had to go to the hospital and had a few days off from work. And a third friend had broken his hand. He is now in a cast,” he reports. The four friends will file a complaint, BX1 reports.
For the time being, neither the police nor the Committee monitoring body has received any complaints related to the incident. However, complaints may still be submitted one or more days later, says spokeswoman Nancy Van Barel.
Officers injured too
As a reminder, the tenth edition of Carnival Sauvage was celebrated on Sunday. The quirky carnival celebration, which had not been requested from the police, travelled from Place Vossen in the Marolles via the skate park at Les Brigittines and the Congress Column to Thurn and Taxis. There, those present wanted to build a large fire to burn the costumes.
The police stopped the party around half past ten with water cannons and tear gas. Police spokeswoman Ilse Van de keere says that these resources were not just used. Projectiles had previously been thrown at the police, in which two officers were injured. There was no permission for the fire, nor for the procession that obstructed the traffic here and there.
Communication with the police was difficult because there was no one to act as organiser or point of contact. The police are said to have called several times to leave the site.