The Belgian Yellow Vest (gilet jaune) movement, which once rallied thousands in the streets of France and Belgium against a drop in the standard of living, has faced yet another stumbling block in its revival.
On the eve of massive protests against reduced purchasing power in Brussels, a Liège Yellow Vest rally mobilised less than 50 people on Saturday morning, in front of the Palais des Princes-Évêques (Palace of the Prince Bishops), RTBF reports.
The occupation of roundabouts and roads in previous years, with hundreds of protests, seems a distant memory, as just a few protestors occupied a modest spot on the city square.
The lack of attendance appears to have surprised even the police, who maintained a quantitatively disproportionate number of police vans and officers in a neighbouring street, in case protestors resorted to violence, like they had done in France and Belgium in 2018.
This disappointing turnover follows another under-attended march in Brussels. Despite significant police presence, only around 250 people took place in a march in Brussels on 26 September, a number much lower than organisers had hoped. Police said the protest went “without major incident.”
There have been some increased calls for Yellow Vest protests over the border in France, but fresh protests have largely been small and contained.