'All the hate impacts her and our whole family,' says climate activist Anuna De Wever's mother

'All the hate impacts her and our whole family,' says climate activist Anuna De Wever's mother
Teen climate activist Anuna De Wever filed a complaint after she received threats and her belongings were trashed during a music festival in the summer. Credit: © Belga

Anuna De Wever and her older sister Josefien Hoerée, together with around 30 other European climate activists, left from Amsterdam to go to the Youth Climate Conference in Chile, by sailboat.

After their visit to the Amazon rainforest with Native Brazilian leader and environmentalist Chief Raoni, the climate activists will travel 5,000 kilometres by bus to Santiago in Chile, where the Youth Climate Conference will be held from 28 to 30 November. Their mother, Katrien Van der Heyden, has been following the trip with the app Vesselfinder.

"It was a very emotional goodbye," she said to Het Nieuwsblad. "The stress for the preparation of this expedition and the tension from the last few months were tough on our family. But we are not throwing in the towel, we do not have time for that. History will show that the haters are wrong," she said.

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The hatemail even comes addressed to their family home. "We are afraid to walk to the mailbox sometimes. All this hate impacts Anuna and our entire family. At the same time, we know that people who react like that, do not have any good arguments, which proves us right. I do not understand, Anuna and the other young climate activists do not do more than follow the latest science," she said.

"The urgency of drastic measures for the climate is an undeniable fact. If we do not turn the tide now, Flanders will soon be flooded. That too is a fact. The fact that the climate is not taken seriously, not even by our new Flemish government, is for me the turbulent water that I am really afraid of. Not the water that my two daughters are sailing through these days," she added.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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