GOOD

When Belgian Police Ask for Media Quiet During Anti-Terrorism Raids, Citizens Tweet Adorable Cat Pictures in Response

#BrusselsLockdown gives Belgians a social media moment of levity amidst a citywide lockdown.

Image via (cc) Fflickr user nicsuzor

After the deadly terrorist attacks on Paris, all of Europe has been on heightened alert for further violence, but perhaps nowhere more so than the Belgian capital of Brussels. Schools, shopping centers, and municipal transport are in lockdown in that city as ongoing counterterrorism raids enter their third day, responding to threats of what security officials have deemed a “serious and imminent” attack. Brussels has, as a result, become a veritable shadow of its usually vibrant self.


In an effort to protect law enforcement agents conducting anti-terrorism raids and investigations, yesterday local police tweeted a request for “social media silence” regarding ongoing operations.

Image via Twitter / @polfed_presse

It’s hardly an unusual request given Twitter’s capacity to spread information—and disinformation—at a moment’s notice; a single smartphone-wielding onlooker’s tweet could potentially spoil the element of surprise officers may be counting on for a particular raid or operation.

What was unusual, though, was the response the police force got: kittens.

Using the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown, Belgians began flooding Twitter with their favorite cat pictures and memes, all cheekily making light of officials’ request to refrain from tweeting raid details.

There were Star Wars jokes:

Image via Twitter / @jaycelight

Image via Twitter / @tineeeckhout

Reassuring superhero cats:

Image via Twitter / amitbhatr

Police sniper-kitties:

Image via Twitter / towersight

And chill tabbies, using the lockdown as an opportunity for a little R&R:

Image via Twitter / @extimupperclass

Some people took the opportunity to mention the security tips put in place during the lockdown:

Image via Twitter / @m_albania

While others simply used the opportunity to praise those making the best of being stuck indoors during the raids:

Image via Twitter / @deathrep

When the latest round of police raids ended, though, the police themselves got in on the action, showing they were not above a little lighthearted playfulness during such otherwise tense and trying times.

Image via Twitter / polfed_presse

“For the cats who helped us last night,” the tweet reads.

So far, the Brussels operations reportedly have led to 21 arrests and thousands of dollars’ worth of seizures. However, their main target, one of the men believed to be among those responsible for the Paris attacks, remains at large.

[via the guardian]

Articles

A two-minute television ad from New Zealand is a gut punch to dog lovers who smoke cigarettes. "Quit for Your Pets" focuses on how second-hand smoke doesn't just affect other humans, but our pets as well.

According to Quitline New Zealand, "when you smoke around your pets, they're twice as likely to get cancer."

Keep Reading
Health
via Bossip / Twitter

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took aim at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg onstage at Wednesday's Las Vegas Democratic debate, likening the billionaire businessman to President Donald Trump and questioning his ability to turn out voters.

Sanders began by calling out Bloomberg for his stewardship of New York's stop and frisk policy that targeted young black men.

Keep Reading
Politics
via United for Respect / Twitter

Walmart workers issued a "wake up call" to Alice Walton, an heir to the retailer's $500 billion fortune, in New York on Tuesday by marching to Walton's penthouse and demanding her company pay its 1.5 million workers a living wage and give them reliable, stable work schedules.

The protest was partially a response to the company's so-called "Great Workplace" restructuring initiative which Walmart began testing last year and plans to roll out in at least 1,100 of its 5,300 U.S. stores by the end of 2020.

Keep Reading
Communities