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Protesters call for end to standoff

By CHEN WEIHUA in Brussels | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-02-28 09:23
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Protesters in Brussels on Sunday vent their views in a demonstration calling for an end to the conflict in Ukraine. ZHANG JIANING/FOR CHINA DAILY

Henri-Jean Moxhet, a middle-aged man, held a banner with the word peace in multiple languages in the square outside Brussels-North train station in the Belgian capital on Sunday, a sunny but chilly and windy day.

He was one of about 2,000 people who demonstrated for peace in an event in which the organizer, Europe for Peace and Solidarity, said participants might differ on the cause of the Russia-Ukraine conflict but wanted de-escalation and peace talks to end the conflict, now in its second year.

"I'm demonstrating for peace," Moxhet said. "It's something that is now almost forbidden. If you want to talk about peace. … I think it's very, very important that ordinary citizens can go on the street to show we do not agree with the government. We want peace."

Carolina Alvarez, from Mexico City, Mexico, was waving a flag full of "negotiate peace" stickers.

"I'm worried right now that the United States is involved," Alvarez said. " (It) probably means it could be the Third World War," she said, referring to increasing US military aid to Ukraine.

In an opinion poll conducted in Germany before the one-year anniversary of the start of the conflict on Feb 24, 51 percent of respondents said they thought arming Ukraine meant being part of the conflict, while 37 percent disagreed. The poll was conducted by the polling organization YouGov for the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Germany has approved 2.6 billion euros ($2.75 billion) worth of arms to Ukraine in the past year, trailing the US, the United Kingdom and Poland.

"Biden, stop the war," shouted Melra Apraxine as she marched with the procession on the Avenue du Boulevard in central Brussels.

"Today I want to demonstrate that we need peace in the world, and that too many people are dying. And I want to ask Biden, president of the United States … to stop the war. Stop the armaments."

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