Global activist group Extinction Rebellion announced on Friday that it will be blocking the Rue de la Loi in Brussels to draw politicians’ attention to the environmental crisis.
On Saturday 6 November, when the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) will be taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, the group will shut off access to the street in the city centre, where the Federal Parliament, as well as the office of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, is located.
“We are calling on governments to impose strict measures on companies and to immediately stop any activity that destroys the living world,” the group’s spokesperson Xavier said in a statement announcing the action.
According to the activists, the private sphere has too much influence over political leaders and is “bending them to their will”.
Instead of fixing this, the government, according to the group, is “taking measures that aggravate the situation,” such as building new gas-fired power stations and planning to expand Liège airport.
“Instead of introducing a fair and sustainable economic system, our leaders prefer to sacrifice our common future for the benefit of large multinationals,” the group argued.
The climate-focused action, #Time4Rage, will take place at a time when the world’s most powerful and wealthy nations come together to address the management of the climate crisis.
The group argued that the many ecological disasters that took place across the world during the summer, including in Belgium, which was ravaged by deadly floods in July this year, are threatening the future of life on earth.
Activists highlighted that, although much of the damage is irreversible and here to stay, “we can still limit its severity. But we need to act quickly. We have the solutions to build a sustainable, just and equitable world today.”
“Gathering on Rue de la Loi should highlight the responsibility of the political sphere in the face of the ecological, social and climate emergency,” the statement read.
The group is calling on “irresponsible politicians who are burying their heads in the sand” to act to save humanity from this crisis, as well as for the creation of citizens’ assemblies, drawn by lot “with legislative power to facilitate a controlled transition to an equitable post-growth, post-carbon society.”