Extinction Rebellion protest blocks cars in Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre
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Extinction Rebellion protest blocks cars in Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre

Credit: Extinction Rebellion

From 6:00 PM on Tuesday, a group of Extinction Rebellion activists are carrying out a symbolic ‘Reclaim the Park’ demonstration at the Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre by blocking cars wanting to enter.

The activists’ goal is to obtain the total closure of the park to cars, so that the park can return to its original function. After being closed to cars during the lockdown, the park reopened to motorised traffic at the end of May.

“A unilateral and undemocratic decision that we cannot accept,” said Laura, a member of Extinction Rebellion.

Activists will prevent cars from entering the park at the roundabout on Avenue Louise towards Avenue Diane, and block the street by closing the gates at the entrance to the park, and some of them will chain themselves to the gates before voluntarily breaking away at the end of the demonstration.

The ‘Reclaim the Park’ demonstration will last about half an hour, and will respect the social distancing measures, according to the organisation. The activists will also wear face masks.

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However, free passage will be given to emergency vehicles such as ambulances or fire brigades. Stewards will be in contact motorists to explain the action and invite them to drive around the Bois to leave the city.

This is the second ‘Reclaim the Park’ demonstration, the first having taken place on 4 June.

The organisation wants to keep up the pressure on politicians to close the park to cars, as they underline that, during the lockdown, the park was a haven of peace for many Brussels residents who do not have a garden or terrace in the city.

Additionally, the increase of green spaces in the city has a positive effect on the well-being and health of its inhabitants, and has an important ecological and social function, Extinction Rebellion said.

Since 28 May, the Bois de la Cambre has been partially reopened to cars, after a ten-week period of total closure.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times