At 9.30 a.m. on Monday, five activists were arrested after they entered the gardens of the Royal Palace. The five protesters, members of the environmentalist action group Extinction Rebellion, claimed that they wanted to deliver a letter to King Philippe, to ask him to decree the climate emergency in Belgium. As the movement stated: “This open letter is a direct appeal to the King to invite him and all Belgian citizens to join Extinction Rebellion on Saturday 12th October at 2 p.m. in the same place, the garden of the Royal Palace of Brussels (…), so that he can leave his reserve and declare a symbolic state of climatic emergency.”
After entering the gardens of the Palace, bypassing the gate, they were quickly intercepted by some police officers. However, The activists were subsequently lined up along the inside of the gates of the Royal Palace and Garden, at which point one of the activists read aloud the group’s letter addressed to King Philippe.
According to Extinction Rebellion, a police officer retrieved the letter and handed it over to the King.
Here an extract from the letter:
Your Majesty, your kingdom is burning. We are all in an unprecedented crisis situation, both in
terms of scale and severity. We address You directly to ask for help. Every day that
passes sees the means at our disposal to remedy the crisis diminish. (…) In these exceptionally grave circumstances, we recognize the need for extraordinary measures to protect our lives, those of our (as well as Your) children, and the ecosystem on which we all depend. We therefore respectfully ask His Majesty to leave his constitutional reserve to make the official declaration of a Climate and Ecological Emergency in Belgium. This is clearly a symbolic declaration. However, coming from His Majesty, this is a strong gesture that can significantly contribute to the most urgent implementation of a real crisis plan that mobilizes all available resources to deal with the climate and ecological disaster unfolding before our eyes.
Extinction Rebellion has organized a peaceful occupation in the garden of the Royal Palace on 12 October.