Belgian LGBTQI+ community pays tribute to David Polfliet
Saturday, 13 March 2021
People have gathered across Belgium to pay respect to David Polfliet, who passed away after he was attacked in a park in Beveren in East Flanders, for which 3 juvenile suspects are being prosecuted.
The LGBTQI+ community was called to demonstrate this Saturday in Beveren and all over Belgium, on the initiative of Casa Rosa, the Rainbow House of East Flanders.
In Brussels, around 100 people, according to the estimate of the Brussels-Ixelles police, gathered on Saturday afternoon, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, on the Place de la Bourse in Brussels, for an action entitled “Stand up for LGBTI+ lives”.
The associations that make up RainbowHouse Brussels organised a rally in front of the Bourse, in the heart of Brussels and its gay district. The aim was to pay tribute to David Polfliet and to express support for his family and the LGBTQI+ community.
Many rainbow flags coloured the demonstration. Messages like “Love is love” called for tolerance. Sarah Schlitz, the Secretary of State for Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities and Diversity, was present in the front row of the demonstrators: “For me, it was essential to be present with the LGBTQI+ community (…) because it is essential for me to hear what they have to say”.
“Everyone in our country is unique and can love whoever they want to love. No tolerance for intolerance,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told a rally in Beveren.
On Saturday, small groups gathered on the main square of the city to listen to speeches and artistic performances. “We can’t let this kind of drama happen. Alexander De Croo, I look you in the eye. We must act together,” said artist Fleur Pierets.
“This week has released many stories of fear and discrimination. The rainbow flags that have bloomed everywhere are a symbol that we cannot accept” this situation, replied the Prime Minister.
“These flags are a strong signal. They point to hatred and the fact that we will not tolerate it. Freedom is what I am here for. Everyone in our country is unique and can love whoever they want to love,” he concluded.