Extinction Rebellion unveils plans to disrupt Brussels Motor Show

Extinction Rebellion unveils plans to disrupt Brussels Motor Show
Groups of two to six people, called 'Affinity Groups', will independently carry out the kind of actions they want to perform. Credit: Belga

The climate movement Extinction Rebellion has announced its ‘menu’ of disruptive actions to be performed at the Autosalon Brussels Motor Show, which they call ‘the Salon of Lies‘, on 18 January 2020.

The organisation has detailed on its website how they plan to disrupt what is generally presumed to be the busiest day of the Motor Show. The acts will take place between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM on the show floor as well as outside on the parking lot.

Febiac, the organiser of the Show, has expressed its worry about the acts causing panic in the crowds, and has questioned the safety of the initiative.

Groups of two to six people, called ‘Affinity Groups’, will independently carry out the kind of actions they want to perform. However, the groups have to register and agree with the ‘Action Consensus’, which implies strictly non-violent acts, as well as communication with the public and security.

“In general terms, legal risks related to this action are considered to be very low. Administrative arrests are likely. For as long as there is no direct material damage, civil lawsuits are unlikely,” their website states.

The proposed acts range from unfolding banners or trying to debate with visitors trying to enter, to putting stickers on cars, or spraying slogans, with “washable and bio-degradable paint”.

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Groups can also pour fake blood or stick their hands to cars with superglue, at the participants’ own risk. As the security at the entrance will be extra vigilant, Extinction Rebellion urges participants to buy tickets and enter the Show individually, and hide their material well.

“Faced with the rising awareness of the ecological crisis, car manufacturers use all means at their disposal to generate a ‘greener’ image of themselves in order to preserve their business and profit without actually having to change anything significant to the way they conceive mobility,” the movement said.

“They have blatantly lied in the past regarding the actual ecological impact of their products (Dieselgate, for example, the scandal about the manipulation of emission tests by car manufacturer Volkswagen), and they continue to lie today, reinforcing the myth that people can just carry on with the current mobility model, which relies on the use of individual cars,” it added.

“The car industry claims to take care of the solution, but while promoting ‘zero-emission cars’, they make and sell ever more and heavier SUVs. Electric and hybrid cars are presented as THE solution for the future, as an inherently ‘clean’ solution, but the facts about the true ecological, and human impact of scaling up the electric vehicle production are carefully hidden.”

“The car industry has no intention to shift toward a more sustainable mobility model. They abuse people’s rising ecological awareness as just another marketing trick, to postpone the problem of ecological breakdown, and sell as many cars as possible in the meantime,” the organisation said.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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