Police arrested 185 protesters in central Brussels on Saturday following the staged demonstration conducted by the environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion at a car show in protest at the auto industry’s role in CO2 emissions that cause climate change.
The protest came some days after the European Commission revealed ideas on how to finance its flagship Green Deal project that intends to make the European Union a CO2 emissions-neutral area by 2050, in part through the transformation of the auto industry.
A member and former spokesman for the group, Christophe Meierhans, stated Extinction Rebellion targeted the auto industry because it tells “a lot of lies in order to sell more cars”.
One protester, having his face covered with black paint, chanted “Shell kills” referring to the oil company Royal Dutch Shell before he would lay down in front of the company’s stall, while other protesters were wearing face masks with the company’s logo.
The protesters were soon taken away by police and the show’s security personnel briefly blocked access to the place.
Later, protestors carried out a “die-in” outside the show’s entrance and were also taken away by police without resisting arrest.
The show’s organizers stated they expected 500,000 visitors to visit the auto show which will run for 10 days, the largest of its kind in the country.