20,000 march through Brussels for freedom of speech

Around 20,000 people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday afternoon to march for freedom of speech and against the terrorist outrages in France earlier this week. The march got underway from the North Railway Station at 2:30pm. The march walked in silence to through the city centre to the South Railway Station.

The demonstrators carried banners with inscriptions such as “Together against hatred” and "Freedom of speech”. The Brussels-Capital-Elsene Local Police Service reports that the first marchers reached the South Railway Station at around 4:30pm.

The march was organised by the French community in Belgium and a number of Belgian associations, organisations and individuals. Prior to the march the organisers said in a press statement that “We citizens condemn strongly and unambiguously all forms and expressions of fanaticism and extremism."

"Our call is loud and strong: YES to freedom of speech and freedom of the press and NO to hatred and propaganda designed to instil fear”.

Similar demonstrations were held in other towns and cities elsewhere in Belgium. 3,000 people took to the streets in Ghent (East Flanders), while 500 people marched in Verviers (Liège province).