A demonstration on the beach of Ostende to “replace” the March for climate in Paris
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    A demonstration on the beach of Ostende to “replace” the March for climate in Paris

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    The Climate Coalition and Climate Express have reached a theoretical agreement with Ostende, meaning they can hold a symbolic demonstration on the 29th of November, at the same time as the COP21 in Paris. A meeting with the Ostende authorities will take place at the beginning of the week, to decide exactly how the demonstration will take place. This was revealed by Nicolas Van Nuffel, the spokesman for the Climate Coalition.

    At the beginning, the two organisations wanted to send 10,000 Belgians to Paris, to take part in a large international demonstration called “March for climate”. It is designed to push the heads of state meeting for the COP21 into an agreement that would limit climate change. Put in place after the attacks in Paris on the 13th of November, the ban on demonstrating in the French capital and the region remains in place. It will stand until midnight on the 30th of November. It meant the march was cancelled, though thousands of Belgians had bought a bus or train journey from Climate Express.

    To allow the Belgian “delegation” to express its opinion on the planned date, the Climate Coalition and Climate Express want to organise a demonstration in Brussels. A request for permission was handed to the Bruxelles-capital-Ixelles police. “We are expecting to meet with police at lunch-time on Monday to discuss it”, says Nicolas Van Nuffel. “But given the abnormal situation in Brussels”, with the terrorist threat level being raised to the maximum of 4, and “as we have since obtained a clearer “yes” from Ostende”, “we choose this more reasonable option”.

    It is not yet definite that the demonstration will take the form “of a march”, it said. “In theory, we are aiming for a demonstration on the beach”. The coast was chosen for the symbol of the sea, which rises, represents. Negotiations with transport companies (including SNCB) are under way to “redirect” the planned convoys to Ostende.

    Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)