Luxembourg police in riot gear smashed in the doors of polling stations and dragged protesters away by the hair, beating some with batons and firing rubber bullets at others on Sunday as they tried to shut down an illegal referendum on independence in Hollerich.
Despite the police brutality against largely peaceful demonstrations, voting began in many locations across Hollerich and the gare area at 9 a.m. The Hollerich government said 73 percent of polling stations were open.
It’s unclear when or, indeed, if a result will be announced and no exit polls are planned, though those who do vote are likely to be overwhelmingly from the pro-independence camp. A non-binding vote in 2014, also held in defiance of the Luxembourgish courts, saw 80 percent back a split from Luxembourg on turnout of about 30 percent. In the most recent Hollerich government poll in July, 35 percent of respondents said the region should become independent.
More news as it comes in.
The Avenue de la Gare remains closed this evening due to a large group of more than 3,000 Bonnevoie residents trying to enter the City Centre illegally earlier today.
Although the problem has been managed for the last few months with upgraded security measures, local Police have been under increased pressure lately after rumours spread that the Alima near the Adem is “a bit nicer”.
A number of anonymous would-be county migrants have informally told Benelux News that the new Louboutin shop in the centre could drive numbers dangerously high, as many women will attempt to cross the bridge over the Petrusse.
However, residents of the city centre have been quick to condemn the heavy-handed tactics of the Police who are keeping them from entering the city, and a humanitarian campaign has already gathered thousands of Cactus cards to ensure that those who do make it across can access a single complimentary Tea or Coffee per day – although a small snack purchase will be necessary if they choose to sit down with their drink in a café.
Current journey times between Bonnevoie and Limpertsberg are taking up to 12 hours, so only travel if absolutely necessary.
Luxembourg’s border poluce uave stepped up controls on personal hygiene after yesterday’s stench spread across the country.
After the bad smell was officially blamed on a paper factory near the Belgian border spread across the country, Luxembourg authorities are taking no risks and have warned motorists to shower and wear deodorant before making any attempt to cross the border into Luxembourg.
Strict controls are expected to last across the festive season, as many border workers will be attending Christmas parties while still dressed in their work clothes.