At the initiative of the UEJB (Belgian Union of Jewish Students), more than 15,000 people met at the ULB (Université Libre du Bruxelles) Campus in Paul Heger avenue on Wednesday, between 6.45pm and 8pm. This was to honour the 148 victims of the 1st of April attack on the Garissa University in Kenya. A candle was lit for each of the 148 victims. They were put in front the stage, in the middle of flowers and with a sign that read “I am a student, I am Garissa”. Candles were also given out to the crowd, who were also there to hear the speeches.
Representatives from the ULB, the Kenyan community in Belgium, and the Secular Action Centre all spoke. The president of Amnesty International Belgium, Philippe Hensmans, read a letter from the Kenyan section of Amnesty International, which denounced the barbarism that threatens Africa.
“Blood spilled in Africa is the same as blood spilled in Belgium, France or Denmark”, says Jonathan De Lathouwer, president of the UEJB. “As students, we are moved also. The silence of pantoufles is worse than the noise of boots. We wanted to show solidarity to the families of the students killed. It’s also the symbol of the University that was attacked. It’s the future of the country, the symbol of knowledge. It’s a multicultural University, with Muslim and Christian students, which the terrorists wanted to destroy”.