Black Lives Matter: discussions underway for new protest

Black Lives Matter: discussions underway for new protest
Credit: Belga

Discussions with the Black Lives Matter movement about a potential demonstration are ongoing, Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said on Thursday.

The demonstration against racism and violence against black people would happen on Sunday at 3:00 PM on Place Poelaert, where the Palace of Justice is located.

The announcement follows Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès' reminder on Wednesday that demonstrations are not currently allowed due to government measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

Nonetheless, municipal authorities and the organisers are trying to determine the conditions under which the demonstration could take place, taking into account the measures relating to the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

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Black Lives Matter Belgium had organised a demonstration on Place de la Monnaie on Monday, which was attended by some 50 people. 

For comparison, about 5,000 people indicated on social media that they were going to the demonstration on Sunday, and 10,000 others marked themselves as interested.

The death of black American George Floyd at the hands of white police officer Derek Chauvin sparked nationwide protests in the United States, as well as across the world, including in Paris, where various incidents occurred on the fringes of a protest attended by thousands.

Other protests are being planned in Ghent, Ostend, Hasselt and Ekeren on Sunday, according to a regional newspaper. All of these cities have a statue of King Leopold II, under whose colonial regime millions of Congolese people died.

petition was launched on Monday to have all statues of the former Belgian ruler removed from the City of Brussels.

Jason Spinks

The Brussels Times

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