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9,000 Protest Against Trump In Belgium

| by Shani Shahmoon

In an interview in 2016, Trump referred to Belgium as a "hellhole," and Belgians haven't forgotten his choice of words.

In fact, 9,000 people took to the streets of Belgium to protest United States President Donald Trump's arrival for the annual NATO Summit, Politico Europe reported.

Inspired by the Women's March in the U.S., four college students worked together to plan an anti-Trump protest as the controversial American president landed in Belgium, his fourth stop on his overseas tour. The protest began at 5 p.m. outside a railway station where a stage was set up. Activists and performers came to speak for an hour before thousands of people began their march.

Chants such as, "If you don't want Trump in Belgium clap your hands," and, "Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go," were heard throughout the streets of the city.

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Some marchers were clad in rainbow apparel and others wearing the popular pink "pussyhats" that picked up at the Women's March. Others held clever, catchy anti-Trump posters that have become viral.

One read, "Fight Donald Trump and his billionaire friends," and another stated, "Stay out of our hole," referring to Trump's comments on Belgium the previous year, CNBC reported.

People of all ages, from young children to a reported age 84, attended.

The protest was overall anti-Trump but saw people gathering for many reasons, such as the American president's war agenda, his position on refugees and immigration, and the fact that some see him as being sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic and more.

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Omer Mommrerts, who is reportedly 84 and hard of hearing, attended the rally, which he says helped him regain hope in humanity, with his wife.

"I see young people and that’s why I’m happy," he said.

"It’s not one generation or one group. It’s inter-generational, inter-cultural. All kinds of people," Mommrerts added.

Trump is in Belgium to attend the NATO conference after running on a platform to denounce and leave the organization of 28 members, some of which he claims have not done their fair share in contributing to military efforts to combat terrorism, the Daily Mail explains.

The summit comes just days after a suicide bombing attack at an Arianna Grande concert in Manchester, England -- an attack for which ISIS has claimed responsibility.

The NATO summit is expected to take new, strong measures to appease Trump, such as joining the 68-nation international coalition dedicated to fighting ISIS, as well as naming an anti-terror coordinator and renewing the organization's vow to move toward having each of the 28 nations spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024.

Currently, the five members of NATO that meet the standard for paying at least 2 percent to defense are Britain, Estonia, Greece (despite drowning in debt), Poland and the United States. 

Sources: Daily Mail, CNBC, Politico Europe / Photo credit: Alisdare Hickson/Flickr

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