On 12.10.2019 Extinction Rebellion organized a protest action in Brussels. They called it the Royal Rebellion and wanted to occupy the royal garden to request the Belgian King Filip to declare a state of ‘Climate emergency’.
The Royal Rebellion in Brussels was supposed to take place in front of the royal palace, but due to a police roadblock it was replaced to the kings square. Protest and discussions were held on the square for multiple hours.
After failed negotiations between the police and the organisation, to liberate the square, the police stepped in with a water canon and pepperspray to evacuate the people sitting on the square and allow the tram to restart operating. Multiple hundreds of activists were arrested and impressed by the police violence.
Most of the climate activists continued smiling even during arrest. It took more than three hours to sweep the square and arrest everyone. In the beginning, groups of activists retook their place multiple times after police sweeped over.
It is clear that the activists of XR are perceived by some as a threat for society and our current civilization. On the other hand the activists feel the opposite about climate sceptists. A dialogue and healthy form of debate needs to exist. Police violence will do no good to the increasing tension within this debate.