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Security Alert – Worldwide Caution and Protests in Brussels, Belgium
October 20, 2023

Subject: Security Alert – Worldwide Caution and Protests in Brussels, Belgium, October 20, 2023

Location: Worldwide Caution

Event:  Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.

Location: Brussels

Event:  A large demonstration is scheduled from 1400 to 1800 hours on Sunday, October 22.  The demonstration has more than 5000 registrants and will occur at Schuman Square.  Law enforcement authorities are aware of the demonstration and will be on site, but the public should expect potential traffic disruptions.  Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.  All U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant, practice good personal security, and avoid scenarios which might lead to conflict.

In addition to the aforementioned demonstration, the following smaller events regarding the Gaza/Israel conflict are being tracked, but much smaller demonstrations (10-15 people) are being reported with significant frequency.

Friday 10/20

1600 – 1800

Solidarity with Palestine

Place Luxembourg (500+)

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – from 19.00 to 20.00

Wake for the victims in Gaza

La Bourse (200+)

Actions to take:

  • Avoid the area of demonstrations.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you see something that seems odd or out of place, immediately notify the nearest law enforcement officer and move away from the area.
  • Always carry your cellphone, programmed with local emergency numbers: Europe-wide emergency (112), Belgian Police (101), Ambulance (100), Fire (100).
  • Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists.
  • Follow the instructions of authorities and road signs regarding closures and detours.
  • Monitor local media for updates.
  • Keep a low profile.