Antwerp yogi protest will denounce arrival of 'polluting' cruise ships

Antwerp yogi protest will denounce arrival of 'polluting' cruise ships
Demonstrators will protest the arrival of the Balmoral liner (pictured), set to dock in Antwerp on August 11. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A group of yogis will roll out their mats and take part in an hour-long session in downtown Antwerp as part of a protest aimed at keeping "polluting" cruise ships from docking at the ports, in a demonstration set to coincide with the arrival of a large overseas liner.

The initiative, dubbed "Yoga sniffers against cruise ships" will see a group of climate activists armed with anti-pollution masks turn to yoga to denounce the arrival of a 219-metre-long cruise ship from the U.K., scheduled to dock in the city on August 11.

It originated after organisers said an anti-cruise ship petition which gathered the support of 15,000 city residents was laughed at when presented to the city council.

Organiser Kees Meerman said he was "deeply outraged" by the response to the petition, after what he said were "mostly members of the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) group" laughed at it like a "shouting gang of hyenas," according to De Morgen.

The demonstration, which Meerman said will be peaceful, is set to take place in Antwerp's low-emission zone (LEZ), from which the city's most polluting vehicles are banned from circulation.

"We are not going to shout or sabotage," he said, adding that the demonstration's aim was to let participants express their discontent at the pollution created by the cruise ships "in the middle of the LEZ."

The demonstration is yet to be approved by local authorities, but organisers have already encouraged participants to join in on August 11, armed with hearing protection, an anti-pollution facemasks and their mats.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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