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3,000 pupils march for climate in Brussels

15:31 10/01/2019
‘We’re going to be here every Thursday,’ says young organiser of the first Youth for Climate march

Some 3,000 Belgian pupils skipped school today to march for the climate in Brussels. Under the name Youth for Climate, the march left from Brussels Central Station at about 10.00 and made its way to Schuman and Place du Luxembourg.

The march was organised by Antwerp teenagers Anuna De Wever and Kyra Gantois, who were inspired by the now-famous Swedish pupil Greta Thunberg. Thunberg is skipping school every Friday to hold a banner outside the parliament building in Stockholm. The banner reads ‘School strike for the climate’.

Thunberg has inspired secondary school pupils across the globe to go on ‘strike’ from school for the climate, and now Belgium. “Scientists keep telling us that we’re digging our own graves, but nobody is doing anything,” one marcher told Bruzz. “Why should we go to school if there is no future for us?”

Another pupil said that he was disappointed that nothing came of the massive climate march in Brussels on 2 December that drew 65,000 people. “We want to bring everyone’s attention back to the problem of climate change.”

Rally turns into march

According to the young organisers, it was never the intention to stage a march, but the crowd that gathered for the planned rally on Carrefour de L’Europe grew too big to contain.

They marched towards the Flemish parliament building on Rue de Louvain but were stopped by police to prevent them entering the neutral zone, and then they changed course and headed east to Schuman. Although they did not have a permit to march, police did not try to intervene, and the rest of the march was peaceful, according to a police spokesperson.

A spontaneous sit-in was staged near Schuman, and then the youth headed to Place Lux and back to Central Station. Some of the schools gave pupils permission to skip the day to attend the march, while others forbid it, losing many pupils to the march anyway.

De Wever said that it was her intention to protest at Carrefour de L’Europe every Thursday and that she hoped others would join her. “If we can really show up here every Thursday remains to be seen,” she told Bruzz. “Not everyone is motivated enough to be truant every Thursday. But it’s the plan anyway.”

Photo: Kyra Gantois (left) and Anuna De Wever of Youth for Climate
©Courtesy Youth for Climate/Facebook

Written by Lisa Bradshaw

Comments

paradox

They should march straight to India or China, and complain to their governments (not that they will listen)...these two countries are killing the planet. Anything else is a futile waste of time.

Jan 10, 2019 18:41
TreeHugger

I am happy to see them stand for our future. It shows that they have learned something more than just staying quite at the back of the classroom.

While pressuring decision makers is general tactics let's also keep an eye on our daily actions. To offest part of my CO2 emissions, I regularly support tree planting initiatives such as www.fudaforest.eu

Jan 10, 2019 21:48
paradox

but TreeHugger...your trees LOVE CO2, and in return for this love they give us Oxygen !

Jan 18, 2019 11:38