By THOMAS WEYTS
— BRUSSELS —Twelve thousand people took part in the demonstration here on May 24 against Trump and the world that he stands for and against NATO.
As expected and hoped, it was a very diverse, lively, and militant demonstration. More than 70 organizations took to the streets against war and imperialist adventures, an open asylum policy and equal rights, a different climate, against women’s oppression, sexism and homophobia, against the degradation of social and democratic rights and an increasingly authoritarian world. Not only was Trump put in the dock but the link was made with the Belgian government’s policies.
Feminist groups, organizations of undocumented migrants and refugees, the environmental and climate movement, all of the radical left organizations, Ecolo and Groen (the Belgian Green Parties), leftist youth movements, and others had a massive presence. A great success!
Unfortunately, the unions—with the pleasant exception of CNE Brussels, ACOD, ALR Brussels, and no doubt many individual trade unionists—were hardly present. Yet another missed opportunity.
The event not only brought many young people (including many young women) onto the street but also had a beautiful internationalist character.
Turkish and Kurdish activists were protesting not only against Trump and NATO, but also the dictatorial policies of Erdogan, who is also participating in the NATO summit. There were also people from the U.S. and Latin America and big delegations from France, Germany, Netherlands.
Even today, further action is being taken at the NATO summit itself. The peace movement is organizing a counter summit.
Thomas Weyts is a member of the national leadership of the SAP-LCR, Belgian section of the Fourth International.