Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Climate and anti-establishment protesters in Belgium have announced a collective protest against a perceived “normalisation” of police violence during recent demonstrations.
Organisers chose the date of 21 October for the demonstration, in an effort to make it coincide with a Brussels city council, according to the event’s Facebook page.
Groups who have demonstrated for diametrically opposed objectives, like Youth for Climate and the Gilets Jaunes, will join forces in the demonstration, in which over 2,000 people have already expressed an interest in.
News of the protest, dubbed “United Against Police Violence,” comes after climate protesters participating in an Extinction Rebellion demonstration at the weekend denounced the “unacceptably violent” reaction of police.
“Following such repression, we have to join together to make our voices heard!” the organisers wrote, adding: “The normalisation of police violence is particularly worrying. This situation cannot last and we need to united and make this situation visible.”
An internal investigation was launched on Monday following police’s use of tear gas and water cannons against environmental protesters blockading a square near the Royal Palace, after which over 400 arrests were made.
Ten organisations in total are taking part in the protests, including a citizen-based group who provide relief to migrants and asylum seekers.
Members of the Gilets Jaunes movement, fighting against tax hikes on fuel, have said they will attend to protest arrests during demonstrations they organised after the elections in May, according to Het Nieuwsblad.
Organisers said the demonstration will be “static” and non-violent, and that people give speeches and share testimonies with the crowd.
The Brussels-Ixelles police zone confirmed that organisers had lodged a demonstration application and that Brussels Mayor Philippe Close will make the final call on whether it can go ahead.
The Brussels Times