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Press release

On 6 November 2021, XR will occupy Rue de la Loi in Brussels near the Federal Parliament in order to organise open public assemblies to which everyone is invited. This action will illustrate how citizens' assemblies can work as a vital tool to address the ecological crisis. The results will be forwarded to federal and regional governments.

Symbolically, this action will take place at the same time as the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. XR condemns politicians for their responsibility in this ecological, social and climate emergency. In reaction to their sanctimonious pronouncements that only focus on individual responsibility, XR points out that change must originate with those whom our movement calls the ‘decision-makers’. In the light of the gravity of the situation, XR calls for action and outrage against the havoc wreaked upon the living world.

XR wants to remind everybody that the IPCC report is categorical when it comes to how serious our circumstances are. Antonio Gutierrez, United Nations Secretary-General, called it a “code red for humanity.”

According to Xavier, an XR spokesperson, “this summer’s catastrophes were only a prelude to what’s in store for us. The extreme weather phenomena, droughts and pollution, which we have witnessed, will always lead to more shortages, which in turn will trigger conflicts and mass migration.

According to XR, the problem resides within our growth-based economic system, which leads politicians to make decisions that worsen injustice, lead to further inequalities, diminish our planet’s livability and threaten world peace.

The problem is systemic. The economic growth imperative, which dominates our development model, demands that we use ever more resources. Our reckless mode of consumption is not compatible with how strictly we should be managing our assets. Governments have a duty to impose drastic measures on companies in order to put an immediate stop to all devastating activities targeting the living world. But the influence of the private sector in the political sphere is so rampant that they persist in taking steps that are completely counter-productive to what the situation requires,” says Xavier.

XR points to the construction of gas plants across the country to phase out of nuclear power, the pipeline project that would connect the port of Antwerp with the Ruhr, the airport expansion project in Liege, the bailing out of Brussels Airlines during the health crisis, the underdevelopment of public transport and the support provided to intensive farming as examples of the private sector’s influence over government decisions.

XR activists firmly believe in the power of collective intelligence. Our conclusion is that the only solution to this problem — the influence of the powerful over decision-makers — is to set up citizens’ assemblies, drawn by lot, which would hold legislative power, in order to prepare a controlled transition towards a fair, post-growth and post-carbon society.

Press contact: Xavier +31 626 35 96 83 (also Signal and Whatsapp)

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XR Belgium