Why we are mobilizing against the "ban on demonstrations" bill
The government wants to be able to ban certain people from demonstrating. We're not going to let that happen to us.
Who hasn't felt the need to protest in the face of injustice? Millions of people have already demonstrated for better wages, marched for the climate or gone on strike to defend their rights at work. Take the struggle of the Delhaize supermarket workers, who have been fighting for their jobs for months.
The government's desire to stifle protest comes as no surprise, since it makes the decisions against which the people protest: wage freezes, tax increases, polluting energies… It doesn't suit the politicians in power when citizens express their discontent or question the system.
That's why they've drawn up a bill that would make it possible to convict people who take part in certain types of action, and ban them from demonstrating for several years. It was to be expected that the right would defend this project. But when this is also the case for the so-called left-wing political parties such as the PS, Ecolo, Vooruit or Groen (the French and Dutch-speaking socialist and ecologist parties), there's plenty to be concerned about. This bill constitutes a danger to the democratic freedoms of all.
We're not going to let that happen. On October 5 in Brussels, the PTB-PVDA once again joined a large demonstration organized by trade unions and numerous associations. 10,000 people were there to defend our rights to protest and protect our social achievements. "Protesters, not criminals," they chanted.
“The turnout was exceptional," commented PTB-PVDA President Raoul Hedebouw. “You could see trade union organisations, of course, but also the League for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, student organisations, young people mobilising for the climate..."
In the Federal Parliament, the PTB-PVDA's four workers' MPs - who together have 100 years experience of trade union work and social struggle - made their voices heard on this bill, which threatens the right to demonstrate and take industrial action. For four hours, our 4 workers' deputies told their stories of life and struggle. To make the voice of the working class heard. To explain that resisting and defending workers' rights is not a crime.