Belgian climate strikers-yellow vests together against repression


This 12 October 2019 Voice of America video about Belgium says about itself:

Police Make Mass Arrests in Brussels During Climate Protest

Belgian police arrested large numbers of climate protesters in Brussels, Saturday, October 12, as mass demonstrations by the Extinction Rebellion group entered a sixth day.

Dozens of arrests were made while demonstrators gathered around a pink boat, with at least one climate activist using a bike lock to attach himself to the vessel. Police officers at the scene used heavy-duty cutting tools to remove the lock from around the man’s neck before arresting him.

Earlier in the day activists staged a protest next to the gardens of the Royal Palace calling on the King to declare a climate emergency. (Reuters)

Translated from Belgian daily Het Nieuwsblad, 15 October 2019:

Climate truants and Yellow Vests now want to demonstrate together against police violence

By Cedric Lagast

Brussels – The “Students for Climate” and the Yellow Vests want to come together on Monday in Brussels to protest against police violence. The reason is not only the tear gas incident last Saturday, but also the arrest of 350 Yellow Vests on election Sunday.

United Against Police Violence“. Under that name, eight organizations are announcing a rally in the capital on Monday. They want to go to the Brussels Grand Place, where the city council meeting should start at that time.

“We have taken the initiative and have invited a number of other groups,” says Yuni Mertens of Students For Climate. He refers to an incident last Saturday, in which a handcuffed man still got pepper spray in his face during a protest by climate movement Extinction Rebellion.

“After the shocking images, we felt it was necessary to raise this issue,” says Mertens. “We cannot accept this in a democratic constitutional state such as Belgium. This issue is not new. Many groups and minorities do experience this repression. We want to raise the issue of police violence in general. That is why we also let those other groups speak about their experience with the police, which is never mediatised.”

Together with Yellow Vests

Remarkably, one of those other groups is the Yellow Vests. …

On Facebook, reference is made to the arrest of 350 Yellow Vests on 26 May, the day of the elections.

“During an announced and peaceful demonstration, to demand more social justice, the Yellow Vests were preventively arrested.”

“We are organizing a standing, peaceful demonstration as close as possible to the Brussels city hall where the city council is taking place on Monday,” says Mertens. “We ask the mayor to treat non-violent demonstrators also non-violently in the future.”

Mayor must decide

“We have received a request today, Tuesday,” confirms police spokeswoman Ilse Van De Keere. … It is Mayor Philippe Close who must ultimately decide whether the demonstration can go ahead.”

French police promise investigation after video shows Yellow Vest man hit in the eye by tear-gas grenade: here.

8 thoughts on “Belgian climate strikers-yellow vests together against repression

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