Extinction Rebellion holding protests directed at the Belgian federal government negotiations, starting Monday 21 September, 18.00 — "So, what is your plan?"
In the middle of the ongoing negotiations to form a federal government, sixteen months after the elections, Extinction Rebellion holds a picket in front of the 10, Rue de la Loi, starting today, Monday 21 September at 18.00. With this protest, concerned citizens demand that the next federal government take the full measure of the ongoing ecological and social crises. Efficient responses to these crises must be top priorities in the coalition agreement.
The action brings essential questions at the heart of Belgian democracy. Political parties are invited to present their answers. Christophe, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Belgium, explains:
"We, as citizens, cannot just sit and wait while our politicians waste time discussing who wants or doesn't want to work together, while biodiversity decreases at an unprecedented pace due to the ever increasing destruction of wildlife and its habitats by mining, industrial farming and urbanisation. We expect our government to take responsible action as has been demanded by the scientific community and hundreds of thousands of people who took to the street multiple times over the past two years. That is why we are asking our politicians: so, what's your plan?"
… to stop air, water and soil pollution?
… to protect the remaining biodiversity in Belgium?
… for the coastal regions which will be flooded by sea rise?
… to counter Belgium's soil fertility depletion?
… to care for present and future climate refugees, both within Belgium and from abroad?
… to prepare for even hotter summers and worse droughts in the years to come?
… to increase Belgium's food self sufficiency?
… to bring Belgium's energy consumption down to sustainable levels?
… to preserve social peace throughout the crises to come?
… to prevent the outbreak of a new pandemic? …
"So far, governments and political parties have failed to take meaningful action to tackle the ongoing ecological breakdown. Crises worse than the Covid-19 pandemic will hit us repeatedly in the near future if we don’t change the way we function as a society." The activists point to the gap between political developments and the harsh reality. "While negotiations have been dragging on over the last few months, the world has been on fire, literally. Destructive forest fires are raging through the Amazon, the United States, Russia, Indonesia, but also closer to home in Europe. High temperature records are registered now almost every day. Even Belgium is hit by severe droughts. The accelerating transformation of our environment by human activity has a direct negative impact on human health, ecosystems, food production, economy, and social cohesion. The most precarious and vulnerable communities contribute the least to the destruction of our environment but they are also the ones who will suffer the most from this destruction."
Extinction Rebellion demands that the government set up citizens’ assemblies drawn by lot, proportionally representing the whole population. These assemblies will hold the power to define a social and ecological emergency plan which the government should follow to restore damaged ecosystems, cut pollution, energy consumption and CO2 emissions in a fair manner, and build the basis for a resilient society which cares for the most vulnerable people in Belgium and around the world.