Legal advice

General legal advice for non-violent civil disobedient actions

  • Bring nothing incriminating, or that the police could interpret as. Do not bring drugs, knives, scissors or any other bladed object or tool.

  • Bring your ID card.

  • Lock your phone with a code,or better: switch it off

  • Take something to drink and eat.

  • If you require medication, bring it with you.

  • When in contact with the police, remain calm and resist provocations.

In case of arrest... There are two types of arrest possible in Belgium:

  • Administrative arrest (max 12h) - the most likely type for this action

  • Judicial arrest (max 48h) - unlikely for this action

What will happen during arrest:

  • The police will take all your personal belongings and might body-search you. This will be done by a person of the same sex as the one registered on your ID.

  • The police might interrogate you. Do not give any statement! Anser “No comment” to all questions, including informal ones.

  • IMPORTANT Do not sign any document

  • You can ask for - and have the right to!:

    • water and food, toilet, medical assistance

    • legal assistance (before an interrogation)

PLEASE NOTE Not everyone can, or wants, to take significant risks during actions. That's fine. Getting arrested is NEVER the goal of our actions ! For more general legal advice, read this hand-out.

Legal risks of ‘Freeze’ in the public space

  • Gathering remains prohibited during containment but the legal risk of ‘freezing’ in the public space with a group is low if:

    • physical distance is respected and face masks are worn

    • there is no material damage

  • The police may react to your freeze actions by:

    • dispersing you (asking you to move or using force to make you move)

    • administratively arresting you with the accusation of disturbing the public order

    • giving you an administrative (SAC) fine (max 350€) and/or a covid-fine (250€)

!! We will always contest or crowdfund to pay fines together. You will not be alone!! Legal risks of 'freeze' on a road

  • Same risks as above BUT

  • If they accuse you of endangering others (drivers, bikers, etc.) willingly, a severe sanction could be applied that could lead to lengthy and difficult legal proceedings.

  • IMPORTANT: don’t block a road in such a way that it creates a danger!

Advice for road blockades:

  • Be prepared: don’t block a road if you haven’t made a plan beforehand!

  • Use pedestrian crossings: walk on the road at green light and stay on the street when it turns red.

  • Make sure cars can (slowly) leave, for instance by keeping one lane open.

  • Always make space for emergency services.

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