Blog

15 May 2014

Mass arrests at TTIP protest this morning in Brussels

Greens caught up in police crackdown outside the European Business Summit

Simon McKeagney, Editor
 

May 16 update: More footage from yesterday's arrests via the French coalition Stop TAFTA:

Euactiv report: 'Hundreds of protesters arrested in Brussels as business leaders debate 'maintaining citizen's trust'' read here>

The pleasant atmosphere only moments before the arrests does not equate with the actions of the police.

14.30: Watch how a jovial, peaceful protest degenerates by police-heavy handedness. Video from the Federation of Young European Greens. News report also available here.

12.30pm UPDATE: Several assistants to Green MEPs are now in custody. One assistant, who has gotten in touch via telephone, explained that as many as 250 people were arrested from 10am onwards, many of which were cable-tied with their hands behind their backs, having been kettled into smaller groups. They were taken via bus and are now being processed, and may be released after 4pm. "This is what happens when you protest against TTIP" the assistant is quoted as saying.

11.00am - A strong police presence surrounded the European Business Summit this morning in Brussels, where protesters gathered to rally against the EU-US trade deal and the intense corporate lobbying taking place in the run up to the European Elections.

The protest, hosted by the Alliance D19-20  turned sour mid-morning, with reports coming in that police have used a water canon to disperse crowds and arrested hundreds of protestors, including members of the the Belgian green party, Ecolo. 

The European Business Summit is an invite-only event hosted by some of Europe's most influential industry lobby organisations. It's theme "Rebuilding a Competitive Europe" will include segments on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and how the business sector can 'convince both EU and US negotiators' of their demands.

The event comes less than a week before Europeans go to the polls, and only hours from the final debate between leading candidates for the European Commission. 

 

 

 

 

Comment by Kie |

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Ok this comment section needs some formatting (separation of comments) it is ugly.

Where can we find more info about TTIP I only know of the 'investor-state dispute settlement' part, but I understand that the failed treaties around copyright that have been campaigned hard against have also been thrown in - anything else?

- Kie

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Comment by Kie |

Shocking lack of media coverage of TTIP.

Comment by Andre |

On what grounds were the arrests made and water cannons used? I would like to learn what the official justification is for this conduct. Which laws were broken?

Comment by Real Democrat |

Is this really Brussels, Commissioner De Gucht?
Reminds me more of Erdogan in Turkey!