The environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion is occupying a crossroads in the Bois de la Cambre in Ixelles on Thursday, to protest the partial reopening of the forest to car traffic.
After the Bois de la Cambre was closed to car traffic during the lockdown period, it has now been partially reopened for the summer to facilitate the traffic flow during the construction works in streets surrounding the park.
"There are two reasons for our protest, one is very concrete and the other more symbolic," the group on Facebook, where they are live-streaming their 'Reclaim the Park' protest.
"First of all, during the closure, the Bois de la Cambre had become a green and pleasant place where families, walkers and cyclists could enjoy the fresh air without being disturbed by car traffic, which we believe is important because there is a clear lack of green space in Brussels," the group said. "It should not be forgotten that many people in Brussels do not have a garden or terrace," it added.
The organisation added that it wants to "clearly say 'no' to the return of the pre-pandemic world because it was toxic. The resumption of car traffic in the park symbolises this return to the toxic system that we are vigorously fighting against," the activists added.
Therefore, the group calls for an immediate and permanent ban on car traffic in the Bois de la Cambre "so that this place can regain its function as an island of rest."
The activists of Extinction Rebellion demand, in a broader way, that the government and politicians explain to the population the truth about the climate emergency.
"We want a quick and concrete plan to phase out CO2 emissions," they said. "We want the transition to a sustainable society within the limits of the planet to be decided in the citizens' assemblies," they added.
The Brussels Times