450 held in Brussels after police clash with "yellow vest" protesters
09 Dec 2018, 00:37
Around 450 people have been temporarily detained here on Saturday after police forces clashed with around 1,000 "yellow vest" protesters who turned violent.
Six people have been arrested, according to the federal prosecutor's office.
Earlier in the afternoon, Belgian police confronted hordes of yellow-vested protesters who were calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Charles Michel and attempting to enter the European quarter of Brussels.
Police used pepper spray on a small group of men who threw street signs, bottles and other objects as they tried to break through a barricade near the European Parliament.
Walking behind a banner marked "Social Winter Is Coming", the protesters chanted "(French President Emmanuel) Macron, Michel, resign!"
Throughout the day, Belgian police resorted to firing tear gas and water cannons at protesters near government offices and parliament.
The protesters allegedly threw paving stones, fireworks, flares and other objects at police.
The area where European institutions including the offices of the European Commission and the European Parliament are located was sealed off as a precautionary measure.
Saturday's protest is a spill-over of the "yellow vest" movement in France which originally started as a protest against planned increases in fuel prices but has since morphed into a mass protest about multiple economic and social issues.
Over the past weeks it has spread to neighbouring countries including Belgium and the Netherlands.