The Brief – The future is theirs… unless we destroy it first

(EurActiv, 18 Jan 2019) Belgian school students feel abandoned by their politicians so they have started a weekly strike for the climate. Their protests pose a major question about how young people are represented in politics ahead of the EU elections in May.

It was a normal Thursday afternoon when Rue de la Loi, the main street that goes through the EU bubble, was suddenly filled with thousands of school students holding signs and shouting slogans denouncing global warming.

They were cutting class for the climate. “If not now, when? If not us, who?” they wondered.

The demonstration started in Brussels city centre, where they were supposed to remain. But they decided to march towards EU HQ in Schuman, where the decision-making really happens.

The group soon managed to shut down one of the most notorious roads in Brussels for its traffic jams, forcing cars to turn off their engines. The symbolism could not have been clearer.

The protest was originally organised by two students in Antwerp who called on their classmates to join a climate march, inspired by young activist Greta Thunberg who protests every Friday in front of the Swedish parliament with the same goal.

They were supposed to be 700. Around 3,000 showed up. The week after, they were more than 12,000.

External link

EurActiv, 18 Jan 2019: The Brief – The future is theirs… unless we destroy it first