According to the police, 1,300 people met Thursday evening at 8 p.m. at the Ixelles cemetery, in support of victims of sexual assault in bars Waff and El Café.
Numerous testimonies of sexual assault and rape committed by at least one employee of the two bars have been pouring into social networks since Sunday evening, while the Brussels public prosecutor’s office on Tuesday confirmed the opening of an investigation after the filing of “several complaints“.
“We can’t take care of ourselves when we go out“, a protester told our reporter.”Be careful that we do not put drugs in our glass, that we are offered to drink to get drunk. It must stop.“
“We will demand accounts from the mayor of Ixelles“, said Manon, the organizer of the demonstration.”For years the incriminated cafes have been the subject of complaints from abused girls. And what are the police doing? What does justice do? Nothing. There is a real trivialization of the culture of rape in our society. It has to stop.“
The demonstration stopped at Place Fernand Cocq where the mayor of Ixelles, Christos Doulkeridis, met a delegation.
“The fight against violence against women is a priority for our police“, reacted Christos Doulkeridis. “I will initiate a diagnosis of the situation. It is the women and young girls who will do it. Then, I will meet the representatives of the Horeca so that concrete measures are taken. It is intolerable for women to be sexually assaulted when they go out or go for a drink.“
The two incriminated bars closed on the occasion of the demonstration
The two incriminated bars exceptionally closed their doors Thursday to avoid provocations and incidents. The management of the two bars also indicated that they would take action “if the facts were proven”. This did not prevent the demonstrators from tagging the front of the El Café.
“We understand the feelings of revolt and anger aroused by such acts, which we strongly condemn“, indicated the management of the bars to our colleagues from the Belga agency.”We learned of the march organized this Thursday evening in support of victims of abuse. We fully support her“.
“However, it is unacceptable for our waitresses, waiters and customers to be insulted, harassed and spit on. It goes too far. That’s why we call for calm“, added the operator.”We have made the decision to close our establishments this evening, in order to protect our customers and our staff.“.