Belgium: XR activists demand climate change action at Brussels demo

Dozens of Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists dressed in costumes demonstrated in Brussels' business district on Saturday to call for international governments to take a stronger stance in fighting climate change and social injustices. Protesters had removed the Finance lettering on the staircase of the Finance Tower earlier in the week, and on Saturday assembled lettering spelling out «resilience,» in a bold publicity stunt. They said the move was to symbolise encouragement for authorities to refocus from finance to resilience. «We want our government to declare a climate emergency and we want them to tell the truth about the climate crisis. Secondly, we want them to have an emergency plan and we want carbon neutrality by 2025,» explained one XR protester at the scene. The protesters then moved to a high street where they stood still and in silence as holding signs calling for climate action whilst passers-by observed. Near the high street area, the climate activists finally staged a sit-in protest as the police kept guard. Another activist implored the public to reconsider their priorities as the world emerges from the coronavirus crisis. «Normal means overconsumption, it means destroying our planet. Carbon emissions that are way too high. It means democracies that are failing everywhere, so this is something we don't want to get back to,» she said. Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a global environmental movement aiming at using non-violent civil disobedience to pressure the government into climate action.
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