As I blogged on this blog, about 17:30 our bus arrived at Brussel Noord railway station; where a big rally against the visit of Donald Trump to the Brussels NATO headquarters was going on.
At the crowded rally around a big pond, we soon found out we were not the only people who had brought photo cameras. We also saw the first of many pussy hats; a symbol of the anti-Trump movement ever since Trump’s infamous anti-women saying ‘Grab them by the pussy’.
From the rostrum, a female Belgian speaker denounced the Belgian government’s plans to buy expensive dodgy Joint Strike Fighter military aircraft. A plan denounced on banners in the crowd as well.
A slogan on a sign said NATO: game over.
There were flags of the Dutch Socialist Party. And of the leftist Workers Party of Belgium. I saw one flag of the ‘center left’ SP.a party; a sister party of British Labour, German SPD, Dutch PvdA, Greek PASOK, etc. A Workers Party of Belgium member, dressed up like a parody Donald Trump, told me that the Belgian SP.a were ‘little copies of [Dutch Blairite Eurogroup boss] Dijsselbloem‘.
There were also people in jackets of the FTGB trade union federation. And Kurdish flags as well. And flags of the Walloon green party Ecolo and the Flemish green party Groen.
A sign denounced Trump as a ‘climate criminal‘.
The Young Friends of the Earth were present as well, with their banner.
A Dutch language Belgian speaker spoke about solidarity with people in the USA, to whom bad things happen, like the ‘Trumpcare’ health ‘reform’.
A French language Belgian speaker spoke about Trump’s anti-women policies. Which this sign criticized as well. The other sign ‘Grab ’em by the facts’ was also inspired by Trump’s misogyny; and alluded to the Trump administration’s preference for ‘alternative facts’ over facts.
Then came a woman speaker from the USA: Colonel Ann Wright. A former United States soldier, then a diplomat, now a peace activist. To loud applause, she denounced the militarism of Donald Trump and NATO.
Another sign, in German compared NATO to a dinosaur. With a picture of a dinosaur on a tank ‘caterpillar’, firing bullets from its mouth, with the caption ‘NATO-saurus. Too much armour (or: too many tanks), not enough brains. Wanted: extinction‘.
There were people of the German left party Die Linke present as well.
A bit further were Latin American participants in the demonstration. Cubans with Cuban flags (in the center of the photo), Venezuelans, Colombians, Chileans with Chilean flags (on the left of the photo). The banners on the ground were calling for the closing of US American military bases in Colombia, and for stopping United States Trump administration interference in Venezuela.
The rally was over. The march through Brussels city center started. Stay tuned for more reports about that on this blog!