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Police Fire Water Cannon, Tear Gas at Covid Protesters in Brussels

Demonstrators march during the European Demonstration for Democracy protest against Covid-related measures in Brussels, on Jan. 23. 

Demonstrators march during the European Demonstration for Democracy protest against Covid-related measures in Brussels, on Jan. 23. 

Photographer: Valeria Mongelli/Bloomberg
Updated on

Brussels (AP) -- Police fired water cannons and thick clouds of tear gas Sunday in Brussels to disperse people protesting COVID-19 vaccinations and government restrictions that aim to curb the fast-spreading omicron variant.

Police said the protest in the Belgian capital drew an estimated 50,000 people, some traveling from France, Germany and other countries to take part. Protesters yelled “Liberty!” as they marched and some had violent confrontations with police. Video showed black-clad protesters attacking a building used by the European Union’s diplomatic service, hurling projectiles at its entrance and smashing windows.