Police detained 435 activists. 317 were arrested after protesters invaded the gardens of the royal palace and occupied the nearby Koningsplein. 19-year-old student Quinten Vanagt wrote about what he saw: “There were forty of us in the garage when the doors were closed. One of the officers went to sit on his motorbike. He started the engine and approached the group. He accelerated the engine blowing exhaust fumes in our faces. We remained handcuffed.”
“I never expected to experience anything like this in Belgium.”
According to Quinten Vanagt the officer circled round on his bike, while other officers laughed and smoked even though the protesters made it clear they objected to the smoke.
Quinten Vanagt insists nobody displayed aggressive behaviour towards the police. People who had been sprayed with pepper spray were not given water and nobody was allowed to go to the loo.
Another source speaks of a girl who became white as a sheet and was kept handcuffed even when she threw up. Only after ten minutes was she given a glass of water.