Extinction Rebellion takes out the ‘finance’ from Brussels’ Finance Tower
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Extinction Rebellion takes out the ‘finance’ from Brussels’ Finance Tower

© Belga

Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists took out the “finance” from Brussels’ Finance Tower’s sign on Thursday and said the building should be renamed Resilience Tower.

At dawn, the climate action group said that activists arrived at the tower northern Brussels to “borrow” the letters from the lower walls of the skyscraper.

The tower, the second-tallest building in Belgium, houses the ministries of health and of immigration.

© Belga

“This place houses key government competencies, such as immigration and health under the umbrella of ‘Finance’, which is symbolic of the priorities that clearly guide our politics,” Pauline, a spokesperson for the group, said on social media.

XR Belgium said that they would be “only borrowing” the seven metal letters, which they would return to the country’s next prime minister “to be put in a museum.”

“Extinction Rebellion Belgium will rename the Finance Tower: the Resilience Tower,” the group wrote.

In videos shared by the group online, seven activists in security vests with the XR symbol taped across their backs can be seen approaching the building with two ladders and work tools.

Our Future, our choices (Plus de FINACE)

Our Future, Our Choices! (Plus de FINANCE)NL-hieronder EN-belowFRExtinction Rebellion retire les lettres « FINANCE » de la tour des FinancesNotre Avenir – Nos Choix : la Finance Tower sera rebaptisée en Resilience TowerJeudi 25 juin à l'aube, un petit groupe de rebelles d’Extinction Rebellion Belgique ont retiré les lettres en métal « FINANCE » du mur à l’entrée de la tour des Finances. Dans le cadre de la campagne d’actions « Notre Avenir, Nos Choix », Extinction Rebellion Belgique va rebaptiser la Finance Tower en Resilience Tower.L’action a été menée sans causer de dommages au mur ou aux lettres en métal. Extinction Rebellion Belgique précise qu’il s’agit d’un emprunt et que les lettres seront rendues au premier ministre du prochain gouvernement fédéral, une fois que celui-ci aura été formé afin qu'elles puissent être mises dans un musée. Pour Pauline, porte-parole d’Extinction Rebellion Belgique : "Ce lieu abrite des compétences essentielles telles que l'immigration et la santé sous la coupelle de la "Finance", ce qui offre un symbole parlant des priorités qui de toute évidence guident nos gouvernements. Nous souhaitons que nos gouvernements se concentrent sur la construction d'une société plus résiliente afin que nous puissions faire face aux crises futures."NLExtinction Rebellion verwijdert letters "FINANCE" van de FinancietorenOnze Toekomst – Onze Keuzes: Finance Tower wordt hernoemd tot Resilience TowerVanochtend heeft een kleine groep leden van Extinction Rebellion België de metalen letters "FINANCE" van de muur bij de ingang van de Financietoren verwijderd. De burgergroep zal de toren hernoemen tot Resilience Tower, dit als onderdeel van de actie "Onze Toekomst Onze Keuzes" die zaterdag zal plaatsvinden.Tijdens de actie is geen schade toegebracht aan de muur of de metalen letters. Extinction Rebellion België benadrukt dat de letter slechts geleend zijn en zullen worden teruggebracht aan de premier van een volgende federale regering, wanneer deze gevormd is, zodat ze in een museum kunnen worden geplaatst.Sébastien, woordvoerder van Extinction Rebellion België: "In dit gebouw bevindt zich onder andere het ministerie van volksgezondheid en immigratie. Dit alles onder de noemer 'Finance'. Dit staat symbool voor waardoor onze politiek zich laat leiden. We willen dat onze regeringen focussen op het bouwen van een veerkrachtige samenleving die beter voorbereid is op de crisissen die ons nog te wachten staan".ENExtinction Rebellion takes down the letters "FINANCE" from the Finance Tower Our Future – Our Choices: Finance Tower will be renamed Resilience TowerThursday, June 25th at dawn, a small group of Extinction Rebellion Belgium rebels removed the metal letters "FINANCE" from the wall at the entrance of the Finance Tower. As part of the action campaign "Our Future, Our Choices", Extinction Rebellion Belgium will rename the Finance Tower into the Resilience Tower.The action was carried out without causing any damage to the wall or the metal letters. Extinction Rebellion Belgium specifies that the letters are only borrowed and that they will be returned to the prime minister of the next federal government, once it is formed in order to be put in a museum. Pauline, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Belgium: "This place houses key government competencies, such as immigration and health under the umbrella of 'Finance', which is symbolic of the priorities that clearly guide our politics. We want our governments to focus on building a more resilient society that will be better able to cope with future crises."#ourfutureourchoiceOur Future, Our Choices!https://www.facebook.com/events/798590267338042/

Posted by Extinction Rebellion Belgium on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

They prop two ladders up against the wall and get to work on tugging the letters loose before walking away from the building, whose title now only reads ‘Tower.’

In online statement, XR said the action was carried out without any damage to the building’s wall or the metal letters.

Credit: Extinction Rebellion Belgium/Facebook

The feat on Thursday was part of a series of protest actions orchestrated by the group which aims to denounce authorities as they scramble to return to business as usual and restart economic activities.

It comes ahead of protest planned for 27 June, which the group said would go forward despite the current ban on gathering under lockdown rules.

Activists with the group said the coronavirus pandemic had brought societies to a historical tipping point, underscoring the urgency to address the looming climate and environmental crises scientists have been warning about for decades.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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