Around 15,000 people took to the streets to march in Brussels’ third Global Climate strike on Friday, according to police estimations.
The demonstrators called for a courageous climate policy, echoing the millions of citizens who mobilised in 156 cities across the world on Friday to tell governments and leaders that "our house is burning".
The march in Brussels began at around 1:30 PM, when hundreds of demonstrators left Brussels Nord station.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="597"] Marchers leaving Brussels Nord station.[/caption]
“It is fantastic to see that already for almost a year now people all over the world and also in Belgium are taking to the streets demanding for climate action from politicians,” said Joeri Thijs, spokesperson for Greenpeace Belgium, to The Brussels Times.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="591"] Marchers on Boulevard du Jardin Botanique.[/caption]
Chants of “what do we want, climate justice, when do we want it, now!” and “we are still here, and we will not give up” could be heard amongst the marchers.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="591"] Climate activist group Workers For Climate demonstrating.[/caption]
Speaking to The Brussels Times, civil society activists reflected upon how the climate crisis has already impacted many people's lives in the Global South.
"People have been fighting for the climate for years, especially in the Global South where communities have been organising and fighting against climate change and big fossil fuel corporations for decades, so we are following that movement and that lead today,” said a spokesperson from Friends of the Earth.
“Climate change is a human rights issue and it is already having an impact on human rights around the world, especially in the Global South,” said Eve Geddie, Head of Office and Advocacy of Amnesty International Belgium.
At about 3:00 PM, demonstrators marched along Rue de la Loi and gathered near the Avenue de la Joyous Entree entrance to Parc Cinquantenaire, where Amnesty International awarded Youth for Climate representatives Anuna de Wever and Adelaide Charlier with the 2019 Ambassador of Conscience award.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="589"] Adélaïde Charlier and Anuna de Wever being awarded the 2019 Ambassador of Conscience Award.[/caption]
“Amnesty is really calling on the EU to take the lead in the fight against climate change. Good signs are coming from the new Commission but now it’s really about action,” Geddie added.
The strike finished at about 5:00 PM on Friday evening.
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Gutteres, has invited world leaders to a UN Summit on Climate Change, which will take place on Monday 23 September.
The Brussels Times