It is November 13th and the streets of Strasbourg are cold and rainy. About 600 people have gathered on Place Kleber, a famous square in the city that, like Brussels, is home to the European Parliament. The square is covered with a crowd carrying large banners and signs with political messages; ‘Bist du auch schon ein Impfklon!’ (ed.: ‘Are you already a vaccin clone!’) , ‘Gentech Vaccin’, ‘Angst frisst Hirn’ (ed.: ‘Fear eats your brains’). Another group is carrying white-painted crosses that show vaccine deaths. Many people are shouting, blowing on whistles and even beating on drums.
At two O’clock, a group of white-masked people start performing a play. They are wearing signs that read ‘suspendue’, referring to the governmental measures that have suspended the public from participating in day to day life without being vaccinated. A narrator, symbolising the government, shouts french sentences across the square; ‘Vous êtes suspendue’ (Ed.:‘You have been suspended’), ‘Suspendue sans revenu’ (Ed.:‘Suspended without income’) or ‘Interdit de travailler’ (Ed.: ‘Forbidden to work’). Classical, dramatic music is playing in the background. After the play, the crowd applauds and makes noise for the speakers that join the stage. Amongst them is Tom Meers. During his speech, Meers sticks to the words that he is familiar with, remaining calm and thoughtful, but the messages of his crowd are far from being as nuanced.
When the speeches are finished, the crowd starts moving towards Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, marching through the streets.
Fully-equipped police forces, around forty policemen and women, are guarding the streets that the mass is entering. The police carry tear gas- and riot equipment, but keep a large distance from the crowd. A van starts playing ‘La Marseillaise’, the French national anthem. A group of younger protesters form the front of the crowd, throwing smoke bombs in the direction of the police.
This Photo series is part of a larger project ‘Battling Brussels’ the mini documentary about this subject can be found in the following link.