Brussels police clear squatted building: 'This eviction once again sheds light on the asylum seekers that the government leaves sleeping on the streets'
The Brussels police started to evacuate an occupied building in the centre of Brussels, near Schuman, at around 6 a.m. on Friday. Around 20 asylum seekers were inside at the time. The collective 'Stop the Reception Crisis' had planned to leave the premises on Friday after receiving an eviction order.
"They came at around 6 a.m. with their torches. I was still asleep," one of the residents told Belga. "They just told us to leave, but now I have nowhere to sleep." On Thursday, the owner of the building, Atenor, already moved 40 residents into a hotel, for which the property company will pay 30,000 euros a month for the next four months.
A judge forced the settlers to leave the building some time ago after the secretary of state for Asylum and Migration, Nicole De Moor (CD&V), and Fedasil, the Belgian institution responsible for the reception of asylum seekers, were also held accountable for the management of the property. Since Friday, the police have been able to evict the asylum seekers from the site without pardon.
"This eviction once again sheds light on the asylum seekers that the government leaves sleeping on the streets," says Alexia, spokesperson for the collective. "The regional and federal authorities were asked for solutions but did not want to listen".
There is no asylum crisis, only a crisis of political will
Since April this year, the asylum seekers have been living in the building on Rue de la Loi in Brussels, next to the headquarters of CD&V, De Moor's party. "There is no asylum crisis, only a crisis of political will, which is lacking," said Stop the Reception Crisis, the support group for asylum seekers with nowhere to go.
© BELGA PHOTO & VIDEO LOU LAMPAERT