730 protestors occupying Ghent church
18 April 2006, BRUSSELS — Protests in support of illegal immigrants in Belgium are gathering in strength, highlighted by the 730 people willing to stage a sit-in protest at a Ghent church.
18 April 2006
BRUSSELS — Protests in support of illegal immigrants in Belgium are gathering in strength, highlighted by the 730 people willing to stage a sit-in protest at a Ghent church.
The protestors at the Sint-Antonius Church lack the necessary documentation to stay in Belgium but are demanding an amnesty from the federal government.
To ensure safety, only 50 people at a time are being allowed to stay overnight in the Roman Catholic church, but 730 have offered to participate in the protest.
The sit-in started on 12 April and is scheduled to continue until 30 April
The protest is being mirrored across the country as church occupations are being staged in Brussels and Wallonia.
And an estimated 150 people demonstrated in Brussels on Monday against the immigration policies of Justice Minister Patrick Dewael.
The protestors defended the church sit-ins and warned more will follow, news service VRT reported.
Protestors demanded a voice for the estimated 100,000 illegal immigrants in Belgium.
Minister Dewael will unveil his new asylums policy on Friday and it appears likely all avenues for official residency will become closed to illegal immigrants.
But another protest is planned for Friday in Wetstraat in Brussels, where the federal Parliament is situated.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news