10,000 join Anuna for climate protest

It's Thursday and that means once again Belgium's schoolchildren and students will be playing truant for the climate.  Demos are taking place in Brussels, Antwerp, Kortrijk, Hasselt and Leuven.

Protesters want politicians to take action to stop climate change and global warming.

This week the emphasis of action is on the fair city of Leuven (Flemish Brabant), where some 10,000 schoolchildren congregated on the Ladeuzeplein in downtown Leuven ahead of a march.  Leuven police are advising anybody who isn't involved in the protest to avoid the city centre.  No problems are expected at the demo, but traffic disruption is anticipated.  Local police aren't used to such large numbers but are well prepared to ensure everything passes safely for all.

"All Leuven schools are taking part, students too as well as some grandparents. We have agreed matters with the schools" says Mark Vranckx of Leuven police.

"You will be able to drive into Leuven, but we can't guarantee you will be able to get where you want.  The main market square and Bondgenotenlaan will be closed. That will affect bus services."

The march left the Ladeuzeplein at 12:30 and looped through the city.  Police accompanied the marchers together with stewards from the schools.  Anuna De Wever and Kyra Gantois, the two teens who started the movement, are in Leuven too.

The protest in Antwerp started at 9AM.  600 schoolchildren made for the Groenplaats where they were addressed. "We don't want ministers to resign, we want policy change" one protester told VRT in reference to the resignation of the environment minister this week.

Out west in Kortrijk kindergartners and teachers were among the 1,000 young protesters.

Some 5,000 protesters gathered in Brussels for the 4th protest in as many weeks. They are leaving the North Station and making for the South Station.