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132 arrested during Extinction Rebellion protest in EU district

21:01 06/05/2024

Brussels police arrested 132 Extinction Rebellion demonstrators over the weekend after the activists blocked Rue Belliard and refused to end their protest action when ordered to do so.

The protesters were demanding an end to fossil fuel subsidies and the implementation of a national emergency plan for the transition to a "thriving, fossil-free economy that protects the most vulnerable and the ecosystem".

"A group of about 200 participants occupied Rue Belliard and blocked the tunnel as part of a demonstration organised by Extinction Rebellion," said police spokeswoman Ilse Van de keere.

"The demonstrators were allowed to remain at the spot until 15.30 [on Saturday]. They were asked to continue their action at [neighbouring] Place Jean Rey.

"A number of participants left voluntarily, but others had bound themselves and had to be untied before they could be apprehended. A total of 132 people were arrested during the action for identification. A police report will be prepared for each of them."

The arrests proceeded without incident, according to reports. But in a press release, Extinction Rebellion claimed police deployed a water cannon against the protesters and called it a disproportionate response.

“The gathering between Place Jean Rey and Rue Belliard in the so-called EU district during the EU Open Days gave rise to an unprecedented reaction by the Belgian police,” the organisation claimed.

“The police deployed a water cannon and several dozen officers in riot gear surrounded all the peaceful demonstrators. Passers-by leaving the Committee of the Regions were blocked in between. At 16.15, police started loading the activists on to buses to arrest them.”

According to Belga news agency, which followed the action from start to finish, noted that although the water cannon was present, it was not deployed at any point.

"The use of water cannons against peaceful demonstrators is very worrying,” Extinction Rebellion nonetheless stated.

“We call on the police to show restraint and respect the right to demonstrate peacefully and without violence.”

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Written by Helen Lyons



Surely, they proposed viable alternatives.

They also seem very well funded for such a small group of people.

In the meantime China is expanding their coal mining at a crazy rate, dwarfing any fossil fuel reductions Europeans (and others) suffer through.
Why is China doing that? So it may keep up with the demonstrator's demand for the new model i-phone, nylon red gowns (see photo) as well as the "eco-leather" shoes (made from 100% fossil fuel plastic) they wear.

Freedom of speech is sacred, so please, practice it with respect and forethought.

May 9, 2024 16:01