‘What is your plan?’: Extinction Rebellion tags Belgian Royal Palace
Monday, 21 September 2020
Credit: Philippe Close/Twitter
Activists with the climate action group Extinction Rebellion (XR) targeted the Belgian Royal Palace as they seek to hike the pressure for more ambitious climate policies.
Climate campaigners tagged the group’s logo onto the palace walls on Sunday along with the message “What is your plan?” written in Dutch.
The move was part of a wider action in which XR members targetted some of the buildings housing Belgium’s highest political offices, such as the Rue de la Loi, where the prime minister’s office is located.
“We’re in the midst of a global ecological breakdown. Politicians are currently negotiating about our future, so we ask them: what is your plan?” XR Belgium wrote on social media.
The message was posted alongside a short video depicting XR campaigners tagging the group’s symbol or the campaign’s message onto concrete roadblocks.
Triste de voir à nouveau Extinction Rebellion s’en prendre au palais royal et à notre patrimoine. Pas sûr que ce genre d’action sauvage fasse avancer la cause du climat. pic.twitter.com/SNxx8hHe3T
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close hit out at the group, which promotes peaceful civil disobedience to advance the climate cause, for “going after Belgium’s patrimony.”
“It’s sad to see Extinction Rebellion go after the royal palace and our patrimony once again,” Close tweeted. “I am not sure that this sort of savage action can take the climate cause forward.”
Close’s comments spurred criticism from some social media users, including one who called out the Brussels mayor over a violent police crackdown against an XR gathering in Place Royal last year, during which there were reports and photographs showing police tear-gassing protesters and violently clearing them out of the square.
“Btw, any update on the unlawful use of violence by the police under your authority during the #RoyalRebellion a year ago?” one Twitter user wrote, attaching to his comments a video of the police crackdown on protesters.