VIDEO: Asylum seekers occupy future National Crisis Centre HQ

Barely weeks after the Paleizenstraat squat in Schaarbeek was cleared asylum seekers have taken up residence at premises in the City of Brussels.  The new squat is in a building destined to become the new HQ of Belgium’s National Crisis Centre.

Around fifty asylum seekers took up residence in the building near the Brussels North Station on Sunday.  The action is intended to put pressure on the government to provide an urgent solution and comply with the legal requirement to provide board and lodging to registered asylum seekers. 

The action is being termed a “requisition out of solidarity”.  The occupation of the federal government building started hours after dozens of asylum seekers were removed from an old hanger, the “Allee du Kaai”, in the Havenlaan.  The collective “Stop the Asylum Crisis” says these people ended up on the streets without any alternative.

Sacha, a member of the support committee, says that for some people this was the third time they were put on the street: “They have every right to a reception place and support, but the state is refusing to honour their rights.  The Brussels region and Brussels municipalities destroy all the alternative solutions established by asylum seekers and Belgian citizens.  It’s unacceptable and shameful”.

The collective has lawyers on the case, who will take action in the courts to get permission for the residents to use the building “till they receive what is due to them”.

The collective wants to see a permanent solution for all asylum seekers: “Thousands of court rulings condemning the situation aren’t sufficient to trigger a response from the government.  Action by citizens and organisations is the sole ultimate solution”.

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