ADVERTISING
 
Monday, November 18   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Citizens in Belgium
 

Brussels lockdown, cats and raids

Three days of metro lockdown and public forces operations in the capital of Europe. An assessment on the situation of a city invaded by soldiers and journalists (and social media users).

AUTHOR Joëlle Philippe, Evangelical Focus BRUSSELS 23 NOVEMBER 2015 14:53 h GMT+1
cats, brussels, lockdown, belgium A post from a facebook user last night after the Belgian police asked for discretion on the police operations. Social media users answered with pictures of cats. / Facebook

On Saturday morning the early birds woke up to a frozen Brussels, a first weekend of real winter, but also to a surprise: the metro was shut.



The few unfortunate enough to have to work either took the bus or walked to their workplaces while checking the news to find out what was going on. Yes, definitely, the Government had raised the alert level to 4 (the highest) and soldiers and policemen were invading the city centre.



The lockdown was prolonged to Sunday at 3 pm and then to Monday, where schools, universities, kinder-gartens and the underground public transport were kept closed with a huge deployment of public forces protecting key places such as train stations, public institutions, the airport and… supermarkets.



The reason? The police is looking for the suspected ringleader from the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, who is supposed to be hiding in Brussels.



The security threat will be reassessed regularly by Belgian authorities to decide if they maintatin the alert level for Tuesday.



 



MEDIA, TRANSMITTING A DISTORTED REALITY?



Abroad, the message felt almost apocalyptic as the media shared the selected images of an empty city with soldiers everywhere. The media have spent the last 48 hours updating without much to say, reposting what users were tweetting and  invading the empty streets to try to follow up the police operations. Belgium has mobilized a thousand soldiers for support.



The hashtag #BrusselsLockdown brings to memory another psychosis: the manhunt of the Boston Marathon bomber in 2013 where the whole city was paralyzed and all citizens were asked to remain at home.



The measures, however, are not so strict in Brussels. Citizens are allowed to go out but the atmosphere is not really inviting, as the constant updates from the media worsen the feeling of insecurity. Users are tweetting pictures of completely deserted city centre streets.



 



The Belgian police thanked the media and social media users by tweetting this picture.



The Belgian Home Secretary, Jan Jambon tried to let cooler heads prevail: “Apart from the metro and schools, life has to continue in Brussels.”



Nonetheless, the vast majority have decided to work from home. Who else is going to take care of the children? And with the Christmas season approaching, people talk of avoiding markets.



To all this, some questions are being raised up. Is it not an overreaction? Furthermore, do citizens need to know every single police movement? Le Soir, the French-speaking newspaper even posted the names and numbers of the battalions deployed. Does it help or does it make the operations more difficult? Should the media stay silent?



 



MORE THAN 20 RAIDS AND PSYCHOSIS



Nineteen raids in different communes (neighbourhoods) of Brussels have taken place, as well as three raids in the town of Charleroi, south of Brussels. Twenty one people have been arrested.



Mr. Jambon said it is not finished yet. Abdeslam has not been found.



In Antwerp, there were three bomb alerts in schools on Friday, the city centre was closed on Saturday and on Monday morning another anonymous call warned of a bomb hidden in a school building.



There is an average of 400 telephone calls per hour to the crisis centre. A special number was created.



 



TAKING IT WITH HUMOUR



On Sunday evening, the Belgian police asked the media and social media users to remain silent about the police operations. The net answered back with... pictures of cats. In a few minutes, the hashtag of #BrusselsLockdown was the second most used globally. Sniper-cats, Magritte-cats, reader-cats invaded the internet. Even conventional media posted pictures of cats to illustrate “police operations in progress”.



 



Le Chat, of Philippe Gelluck, was a daily comic strip that was published in the French-speaking Belgian newspaper Le Soir until 2013. It has become a symbol of Belgian humour.



Cats are a symbol of humour in Belgium, as one of their famous daily comic strips is “Le Chat” by Philippe Geluck that used to be published in the newspaper Le Soir from 1983 until 2013.



Brussels police answered back with humour and thanked the twitter users by posting a picture of a bowl with biscuits to feed the cats. 


 


POLL
Paris attacks
How should Europe respond to the Paris terrorist attacks?
Destroying Daesh in Syria, as French President Hollande proposes.
42%
Raising security measures, but avoiding military intervention.
16%
Promoting dialogue and education, asking Muslim leaders to promote peace.
13%
Giving more powers to the EU to coordinate an European answer.
5%
Closing all borders to refugees coming from Iraq or Syria.
16%
Another answer.
8%
This Poll is closed.
Number of votes: 38
SEE MORE POLLS
 
 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Brussels lockdown, cats and raids
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Min19: Childhood, family and the church Min19: Childhood, family and the church

The first evangelical congress on childhood and family was held in Madrid. Pictures of the event, November 1-2.

 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How can we encourage believers to serve Jesus with us? How can we encourage believers to serve Jesus with us?

“It is not just pastors who do ministry. When the saints are doing the ministry too, the Body of Christ is build up and grows towards maturity in the faith”, says Greg Ogden, Chairman Global Discipleship Initiative.

 
Algerian Christians worship God as police arrives to close church Algerian Christians worship God as police arrives to close church

Video of the moment police officers enter a Protestant evangelical church near Tizi-Ouzou to close it. Church members do not stop singing, and peacefully resist later.

 
Porn exploits victims of human trafficking Porn exploits victims of human trafficking

The European Freedom Network launches a new anti-trafficking campaign: “You have no way of knowing if the porn you are looking at is from someone who chose to be there or not”.

 

 

 
A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees

Thousands still cross the border to Colombia every week, and many continue on foot into the interior. Christian young people have set up an aid station along the road.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.