March and several initiatives launched against Donald Trump’s presence in Brussels

Friday, 19 May 2017 15:58
Donald Trump’s shockwaves are hitting Brussels as Brusselers prepare for his visit. Donald Trump’s shockwaves are hitting Brussels as Brusselers prepare for his visit. © Belga
Citizens and civil society organisations are joining forces and taking action against Donald Trump, the American President, who comes to Brussels, on May 24th and May 25th.

A protest march “Trump Not Welcome” will, in particular, be organised on May 24th. Its departure is set for 5 p.m. at the Gare du Nord.

NATO, which is due to hold a “special meeting”, on Thursday, between the heads of state and government of the 28 countries of the alliance (plus a further country), is also the target of these anticipated initiatives.

A small group of students from Ghent and Brussels is spearheading the march “Trump not Welcome”.

Thousands of people have already signed up to this via the social network Facebook. Other organisations are also supporting the “call to arms”.

These include Oxfam-Solidarité (the Belgian branch of the humanitarian organisation), the CNCD 11.11.11 (a peace and human rights organisation) and Médecins du Monde (a provider of global medical care).

Also involved are Tout Autre Chose (which fights for minority groups) and Greenpeace, but also various trade unions, Ecolo (the francophone greens) and even the Workers Party of Belgium amongst other groups.

Group start times for demonstrations will moreover be organised all over Brussels and the country. Amnesty International has already confirmed its involvement.

The march will set off to say a resounding “No” to the politics of Donald Trump.

The organisers flag up, “In recent months, the President of the United States has caused indignation throughout the entire world. He is a divisive figure, he denies the existence of global warming, he intimidates the media and is breaking apart all forms of solidarity.”

The procession will leave from the Gare du Nord, via Place Sainctelette, Fedasil, Rue Dansaert, La Bourse (the old Brussels Stock Exchange) and the Boulevard Emile Jacqmain. Concerts are anticipated upon reaching the end of the march.

Organisers, who hope to gather some 10,000 individuals are also calling upon participants to carry so-called “pussy hats” with them.

These hats with pink cats have become the “anti-Trump” symbol since the “women's march”, organised in Washington the day after Donald Trump was sworn in.

The group Working for Peace, which is also taking part in the march on May 24th, is launching several initiatives, but is more specifically targeting NATO. A “counter-summit” is being organised in Brussels from Sunday and until May 26th.

Lars Andersen
The Brussels Times
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