University students join Thursday's climate demonstrations

Thursday, 14 February 2019 13:29
University students join Thursday's climate demonstrations © Belga
Students from secondary schools who demonstrate to demand ambitious climate policies could count on the reinforcement of higher education students expected in mass on the capital’s streets.
As in previous editions, police expected thousands of participants. The march left the North Station at 10:30 am, to proceed to the South Station, where the young people started to disperse around 1 pm.

"The demonstration is for everyone in Brussels," French coordinator of the Youth for Climate movement Adelaide Charlier says. Last week, the main protests took place in Leuven, where some 10,000 marchers took part in the secondary students’ fifth mobilization. Decentralized actions were also held in other Flemish cities, as well as in Brussels, Liege, Mons and Arlon, in particular.

Today, students from higher education swelled the ranks under the name of "Students for Climate", a network created on Facebook, subdivided into smaller groups representing various student communities. Police and organisers estimate the number reached well over 10,000 demonstrators in today's march.

Secondary students are calling for ambitious climate policies, but tertiary students intend to push the reflection further. "Starting next week, we will launch large student assemblies in university cities to hold substantive debates on the climate crisis, which will then lead to concrete thought-out demands for the movement," the FB network’s instigator Mertens Baku said.

The youth events are backed up by most universities, who will be flexible with regard to participants, they stressed. In many institutions, arrangements have been made so that students will not be penalized for their absence from classes.

The Federation of Francophone students (ETF) was pleased with this decision.

The Brussels Times
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