Around 70,000 Belgian workers marched through Brussels on Monday demanding government action to tackle sharply rising living costs, as one-day strikes at Brussels Airport and on local transport networks nationwide brought public travel to a near-halt. Protesters carried flags and banners reading "More respect, higher wages" and "End excise duty", while some set off flares. Some demanded the government do more, others said employers needed to improve pay and working conditions. Unions said about 80,000 were present. Police put the figure at 70,000. Brussels Airport said it could not allow passenger flights to depart because the industrial action extended to security personnel, and most arrivals were also cancelled.
On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels in support of Julian Assange, Belga News Agency reports. The demonstrators called on the United Kingdom to come back on its decision to extradite Assange to the United States, where he could face a 175-year prison term. “What is happening to Julian Assange is an attack against freedom of the press,” Marie-France Deprez of the Comité Free Assange Belgium said. Assange is wanted in the United States for leaking secret documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. US authorities also consider him responsible for the deaths of informers for the US Armed Forces.
With U.N. climate conference (COP26) set for next month in Glasgow, the estimated 70,000 or more people who took part in the march offered a dramatic show of force for the nation's climate movement. Zanna Vanrenterghem of Greenpeace Belgium told The Brussels Times on Sunday that her government's climate pledges so far "are not ambitious enough," but that words are no longer enough. "It is one thing to talk about climate," she said, "and another to take concrete action.” Ahead of the march, Vanrenterghem said the message from the Klimaatcoalitie (Climate Coalition), which she co-chairs and that organized the march, was a simple one: "We demand ambitious, solidarity-based and coherent measures. We need a Belgian Green New Deal and we propose more than 100 concrete solutions to make it happen.”
The weekend of July 7th and 8th witnessed the European peace movement come together in Brussels, Belgium to send a clear message to the world community, “No to war – No to NATO!” The mass demonstration on Saturday and the No-to NATO counter summit on Sundayrejected American calls for all 29 NATO member states to increase military expenditures to 2% of GDP. Currently, the US spends 3.57% for military programs while European nations average 1.46 percent. President Trump is pressuring NATO members to spends hundreds of billions of additional Euros annually on various military programs, many which involve the purchase of American weapons and the expansion of military bases. NATO members will meet in Brussels on July 11th and 12th. President Trump is expected to come down strongly on the Europeans while most member states are hesitant to increase military spending.
Days before the planned arrival of US president Donald Trump in Brussels, some 1,400 people took part in a march on Saturday to tell him he is not welcome. Trump will be in town to attend a Nato summit. The last time Trump was in Brussels it was for the inauguration of the new Nato headquarters, when his visit was marked by the rough handling of the Macedonian prime minister, as well as his rebuke to fellow Nato members over their defence spending. Some 70 organisations took part in organising the march, representing human rights, feminist and peace movements. “We are opposed to the policies Trump is currently implementing, particularly his sexist, racist and anti-social policies,” one participant told the Flemish broadcaster VRT.
By Frank Barat for US Uncut - Today’s terrorist attack in Brussels is an unspeakable tragedy, and the victims should never be forgotten. However, seeking vengeance through a militarized response will only create more terrorists. As a citizen of Belgium and activist in Brussels, there are 5 things everyone should bear in mind
By Staff of Movement X - Brussel - Movement X tried to fly the Palestinian flag during the match of Belgium and Israel this evening in Brussels. For this goal we used a remote controlled aircraft (a drone). Once the drone was airborne the signal was intercepted before it could reach the stadium. Two of our comrades were arrested. This was meant as a peaceful action in order to express our solidarity with the Palestinian people. Considering the current escalation of violence in Palestine, this statement was necessary and that necessity is felt by hundreds of thousands of Belgian citizens.
Whether in Italy Germany or France, migrants face common problems. They live without freedom of movement or the permission to work with the constant threat of deportation. Despite these conditions, migrants are taking collective action. A coalition of groups from across Europe has marched and converged in Strasbourg. They are now marching together to the EU summit on migration in Brussels. Migrants exercise their freedom of movement by not respecting borders that do not respect them.
The EU summit brought hundreds of protesters onto the streets of Brussels over a variety of causes – from austerity to food production and military policy. While European leaders talked about defence and banking rules aimed at protecting taxpayers, demonstrators complained the EU favours vested interests. “They are pursuing policies for big business, the big bosses, whereas we need all that money for the people. If we don’t fight we’ll be adopting the German model, where the situation of young people, having to work for little jobs, will always be precarious,” said Stephane, a student. Traffic was disrupted as some 50 organisations turned out to stage demonstrations. Anger was also directed at cost-cutting by Belgium in its new budget, and by other European governments. “What we see in countries with very strong austerity like in Greece, Portugal or in Spain, is that debt goes up, the deficit goes up, so does unemployment and the number of suicides. It’s economic poison,” said Felipe Van Keirsblick from the CNE trade union representing private sector employees.