A record number of demonstrations in Brussels in 2018

2018 was a record year for demonstrations in Brussels. Last year a total of 995 demonstrations took place in the capital. According to figures that appear in an article published in Monday edition of the daily ‘Le Soir’, there are an average of 3 “protests” per day. However, the majority of these are not related to internal Belgian affairs. 

The figure of 995 protests in the Brussels-Capital Elsene local policing area in 2018 is almost 80% up on the 560 protests that took place there in 2010.  

The service’s spokesman Olivier Slosse told the paper that “What people see on the day of the protest is just a small part of the story. Most of the work involved comes in the preparation”.    

The police's General Intelligence Department negotiates on almost a daily basis to ensure that demonstrators can bring their message across without bringing the whole city to a standstill. Those that work for the department have become specialists in global politics as a large portion of the demonstrations have no link to our country.     

A number of agencies are involved,  not only in the preparation and on the day of the demonstration itself. Community officers have to inform local residents when streets are going to be closed and the traffic police also has an important role to play. The Brussels-Capital-Elsene Local Police Service is able to seek the assistance of other local police services and the Federal Police Service to help with the policing of large demonstrations.