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.