Brussels against Trump, NATO militarism, report

This video is about the big demonstration in Brussels, Belgium against Donald Trump and NATO militarism on 24 May 2017.

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.

Brussels photography, 24 May 2017

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’.

Polar bear hats, 24 May 2017

There were not only pussy hats. Critics of Trump’s anti-climate policies on our side of the station pond wore polar bear hats.

Girls bite back, 24 May 2017

On the other side of the pond, people with signs saying things like Girls bite back; Exit Trump, enter Bernie; and Trump and Pence fuck the world.

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.

NATO game over, 24 May 2017

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.

Trump climate criminal, 24 May 2017

A sign denounced Trump as a ‘climate criminal‘.

Trump climate criminal, on 24 May 2017

On the rostrum, a Standing Rock Native American activist against Trump’s support for the anti-climate DAPL oil pipeline. She said, to much applause, that the struggle would continue.

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’.

Pussy grabs back, 24 May 2017

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.

Unfortunately, one weak point in the Belgian’s good speech: she referred to Trump as a ‘populist’; a word that should not be used for racist politicians like Trump, Marine Le Pen in France, etc.

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.

There was a sign in her audience, saying: ‘You say NATO/I say potato/Let’s call the whole thing off’. A parody of a song by George and Ira Gershwin, from 1937: “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off“.

Dinosaur, 24 May 2017

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.

Latin Americans, 24 May 2017

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!


45 thoughts on “Brussels against Trump, NATO militarism, report

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  5. Monday 29th May 2017

    posted by John Haylett in Britain

    CUBAN ambassador Teresita Vicente Sotolongo highlighted the need for continued international solidarity with her country in light of Donald Trump’s election as US president.

    “President Trump relies too much on Cuban Americans such as Marco Rubio for information,” she said, taking part in conversation with Communist Party general secretary Rob Griffiths.

    While most Cuban-Americans favour better relations with Havana, right-wingers such as the Florida Republican senator exercise a political influence beyond their numbers, the ambassador stressed.

    Ms Vicente explained Cuba’s role in sending medical teams overseas to provide acutely needed assistance and welcoming students from developing countries to train as doctors.

    “Their first year is spent learning Spanish to prepare them for their medical degree and everything is offered without charge to the students,” she said.

    This opportunity is also extended to African-American students in response to a request by the US Congressional Black Caucus.

    Mr Griffiths recounted asking two African-American trainee doctors during a visit to the Latin American School of Medicine if studying in “communist” Cuba had created problems for them at home.

    “Not every American thinks of Cuba like George W Bush,” they replied.

    Ms Vicente said that Cuban medical teams working abroad go to poor and remote areas, with least access to doctors so as not to cause friction with the local medical profession.

    The school of medicine encourages overseas students to take a similar stance, asking that, when they return home, they put service before money-making by practising in the countryside rather than in their capital city.

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