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TIME for RAGE Disruptive action in front of the Federal Parliament during COP26

November 6, Brussels.

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The future of all of us is in danger. The many disasters this summer around the world and in our country have made us realise this more than ever: the environmental crisis threatens the future of life on earth. The IPCC states it firmly: climate change is “a code red for humanity.”

The increase we are witnessing now in extreme weather events, droughts and pollution will lead to ever more shortages of vital resources in the future, which in turn will cause mass migrations and conflicts. Belgium will not be spared. Rising sea levels threaten our coasts. Our harvests are failing while our food autonomy is insufficient. The pollution of our soil, air and water reduces our quality of life and life expectancy. In past years our water tables have reached such low levels that we will likely need to ration water soon. Biological pandemics, such as Covid, will multiply.

While much of the damage is irreversible and here to stay, we can still limit its severity. But we need to act quickly. We have the solutions to build a sustainable, just and equitable world today. Why are they not yet being implemented?

Because the problem is systemic. The insane pursuit of unlimited growth is driving our lives, and pushing our planet, over the edge. Our growth-based system is self-destructive. It is collapsing. And all this for a minority of rich shareholders who take advantage of us and bend our politicians to their will.

Instead of taking responsibility, our politicians are burying their heads in the sand. And worse, they are taking measures that aggravate the situation. They build brand new gas-fired power stations across the country and a pipeline linking the port of Antwerp to the Ruhr. They rescued Brussels Airlines during the health crisis and plan to expand Liege airport. They keep supporting intensive farming, and public transport remains underfunded. Instead of introducing a fair and sustainable economic system, our leaders prefer to sacrifice our common future for the benefit of large multinationals.

We are not powerless. We live in a country that has a say on the international scene. Brussels, the 'capital of Europe', with its institutions and lobbies, is one of the world's major centres of power. If we disobey en masse, the powerful will have no choice but to listen to us. Let us demand the establishment of citizens' assemblies, drawn by lot, to give the people the power to decide their own future in order to rejuvenate our democracy.

The COP26 international climate conference will take place from 31 October to 12 November. This summit, dominated by the world's richest countries, will decide on global climate policy for the next few years. Let’s send a clear message to our politicians: rather than pretending to negotiate at COP26, start by taking the necessary measures in Belgium, and let citizens' assemblies decide on our common future!

This is why on 6 November, in the middle of COP26, Extinction Rebellion will block Rue de la Loi in front of the Federal Parliament to hold people's assemblies, the results of which will be passed on to politicians.

Join us! Because we can no longer afford to succumb to feelings of powerlessness. Because it is up to us to define our common future together. Because it is high time to unleash our rage!