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Global Strike for Future hits Brussels on Friday
Climate demonstrations are planned in 20 Belgian towns and cities on Friday as part of a worldwide "Global Strike for the Future".
In Brussels, traffic will be disrupted in the city centre between at least 13.00 and 15.00 and some 20 bus lines will be diverted or curtailed.
The Stib app and social media accounts will provide real-time updates based on the progress of the march, which sets off from North Station and finishes at Midi.
In Liège, a rally is planned in front of Guillemins station at 10.00 before participants board a train to join the Brussels protest. Pupils are also planning sit-ins outside their school gates at 8.00.
Gatherings will also take place in Namur, Mons, Tournai, Leuven, Hasselt, Antwerp, Ghent, Kortrijk, Vilvoorde, Bruges and Ostend among others.
School Strike for Climate organisers around the world are asking not just students but everyone to strike on Friday and attend marches in their own cities. The lead organiser of the Brussels march is Youth for Climate, responsible for the previous protests that have taken place in the capital every Thursday since 10 January.
“In 2015, our governments gathered in Paris and promised to protect our future by keeping the rising global temperature under 2°C,” wrote the group on its Facebook page.
“Three years have gone by, and our future looks bleaker than ever. There is even an estimate, motivated by greed, that 3°C is OK, even though climate scientists have proven that even 2°C will lead to large-scale hunger, drought, flooding, tornados, war and death.
“The adults of today do not care about tomorrow,” Youth for Climate continued. “They are stealing our future before our very eyes.”
The aim of Friday's strike is to challenge the Belgian state to pursue an ambitious new climate policy and to send a message to the European institutions ahead of the next summit on 21-22 March.
Trade unions are also joining the marches, under the banner "Workers for Climate", although most of the major unions have not filed a formal strike notice. NGOs will also be present during Friday's action, led by CNCD-11.11.11.
Photo: Youth for Climate co-founder Anuna De Wever ©Dirk Waem/BELGA