Hundreds of climate protestors were arrested during a demonstration near the Royal Palace in Brussels on Saturday.
Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion attempted on Saturday to enter the Royal Palace’s garden to urge the King to declare a climate emergency and hold several debates on how to find new solutions to the climate crisis.
The protestors were stopped from entering the garden and gathered on the Place Royale to occupy it on Saturday afternoon. The demonstrators wanted to occupy the square for 24 hours, but the police chased off demonstrators using water cannons and pepper spray, and arrested 435 people around 7:00 PM, reports Het Nieuwsblad.
“We want to show that ordinary citizens are prepared to go beyond the usual boundaries and step out of their comfort zone. We are calling on the King to also step out of his comfort zone and declare a climate emergency,” said Gert-Jan Vanaken from Extinction Rebellion, reports VRT NWS.
According to the organisers of the demonstration, about 1,000 people gathered to demonstrate, but the police say the number was closer to 500.