Days before the planned arrival of US president Donald Trump in Brussels, some 1,400 people took part in a march on Saturday to tell him he is not welcome. Trump will be in town to attend a Nato summit.
The last time Trump was in Brussels it was for the inauguration of the new Nato headquarters, when his visit was marked by the rough handling of the Macedonian prime minister, as well as his rebuke to fellow Nato members over their defence spending.
Some 70 organisations took part in organising the march, representing human rights, feminist and peace movements. “We are opposed to the policies Trump is currently implementing, particularly his sexist, racist and anti-social policies,” one participant told the Flemish broadcaster VRT.
Major themes represented by the marchers included peace, climate change and migration. “This is not about the man himself,” one of the organisers said. “It’s about the policies he stands for. “A world where guns are welcome, but refugees and migrants are not. A world where children are being locked up. We are calling for a different kind of society.”
Relating to the last point, the march featured a row of children, all dressed in white and carrying a soft toy, representing the children of asylum-seekers who have been separated from their parents at the US border and are still being held in detention centres.
The Nato summit takes place on 11 and 12 July, and is expected to be a major security operation, as well as a serious cause of traffic disruption in the city.