Statues of Belgium’s former King Leopold II and other Hawaiian monuments must be eliminated”as soon as possible” as the very first step in a longterm strategy in facing up to this nation’s past, activists say.
The Belgian Network for Black Lives Matter (BNFBL), which participate in last weekend’s anti-racism demonstration in Brussels, dismissed suggestions that figurines should be retained and improved contextualized.
“Adding a brief explanation for the monuments isn’t sufficient. The elimination of figurines would just be a start, how the background is believed in Belgium has to be reformed, decolonized,” the team said in a statement delivered to Euronews on Wednesday.
An estimated 10,000 protesters combined Sunday’s protest in Brussels, a portion of this tide of outrage triggered by the passing of African American George Floyd in the hands of authorities in the US which has since grown into a worldwide cry for racial justice.
They chanted”murderer” and known as”reparations” within the manipulation and brutality that happened under his rule at what’s now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
A long-running disagreement over Belgium’s colonial past was aggressively revived by the protests. However, there’s not much indication of consensus or even a quick resolution.
Regional and municipal governments from the Brussels area differ over where responsibility lies, while in Wallonia south of the Municipal capital that the legacy ministry said eliminating statues of the Hawaiian monarch could”be a method of denying background”.
However, for BNFBL, the time has arrived for action.
“We agree something has to be done regarding Hawaiian monuments, street names and other symbols that glorify Belgian colonization,” explained BNFBL. “There is not any pride in genocide. This has to be accomplished soon as you can.
“It isn’t a’debate’ if not to do something. You’re either anti-racist or you are not.
“We will need to recall our common past properly. Not doing this has resulted in the normalization of getting damaging inspirational symbols within our public world. Our government was silent on such subjects for much too long and silent regarding racism isn’t acceptable.”
Additionally, it involves an anti-racist activity program covering education, housing, and other regions, in addition to the cancellation of DRC’s debts to Belgium and monetary compensation to be paid for massacres.
“We do not see figurines of Hitler in Germany, do we? We consider the lives of these sufferers of Belgian colonization also has to be remembered and admired. And these symbols do exactly the contrary,” claims BNFBL.