Tens of thousands protest in France, Belgium over climate crisis

(EurActiv, 28 Jan 2019) Tens of thousands of people marched across France and in Belgium on Sunday (27 January) to protest the lack of state action to halt climate change.

Organisers said more than 80,000 people demonstrated in French towns and cities, while police in Brussels said 70,000 turned out in the Belgian capital.

The demonstrations were organised by an alliance of campaigning groups set up last year who have set a goal of monthly demonstrations on the issue.

Sunday’s marches were smaller than previous rallies, which in the past three months have mustered 100,000 people across France.

But an online petition they set up on the issue — at laffairedusiecle.net — has already gathered more than 2.1 million signatures and organisers want to hit three million.

“Onions, not concrete”, “Less consumption, more butterflies” were among the messages on placards at a demonstration in central Paris.

“It’s a movement that is taking root and diversifying,” Francois Dubreuil of the United for the Climate collective told France Inter radio.

As well as individual campaigners, many families attended the marches, AFP journalists noted.

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EurActiv, 28 Jan 2019: Tens of thousands protest in France, Belgium over climate crisis