Thousands of Belgian schoolchildren have skipped class this Thursday to participate in Brussels in an unprecedented protest against global warming and pollution. The students, who they have gathered around the European Parliament playing drums and holding banners, they will not attend class once a week until the government takes action. According to police data, 35,000 people attended the rally, the largest participation of recent times in a student protest in the Belgian capital.
"If we skip classes every Thursday, if we do not go to school, the elderly people in our country and in the world will see that this is a problem," he said. Joppe Mathys, high school student, along with other school children with posters that said: "Be part of the solution, not pollution "or "the dinosaurs thought they also had time". The manifestation is the most multitudinous one that remembers the spokeswoman for the Brussels Police, Ilse Van de Keere.
The general protests began in Belgium on December 2 with a demonstration of 65,000 people who met under the motto Claim for the weather. The participants asked the European leaders to adopt ambitious climate policies, in accordance with the objectives set out in the 2015 Paris agreement. The demonstration took place before the COP24 climate summit in Poland, where a report was published in which Belgium appeared in the position 31 of 60 in the adoption of measures against climate change in 2019.
Brussels has regularly been classified as one of the most congested cities in Western Europe in recent years due to the high population density of Belgium. What can be interpreted as a sign of shame for a capital where the European Union establishes climate policies. According to the European Commission, road congestion costs the block of the countries of the European Union 1% of its annual economic output, or one hundred billion euros per year.