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Anuna and Kyra, the two heroines of the Belgian climate markets

Every Thursday, Anuna De Wever and Kyra Gantois bring thousands of young people to the streets. On 27 January, the event counted 70,000 people.

By Jean-Pierre Stroobants Posted today at 11h11

Time to Reading 4 min.

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Anuna De Wever (left) and Kyra Gantois at the January 31st event in Brussels.
Anuna De Wever (left) and Kyra Gantois at the January 31st event in Brussels. YVES HERMAN / REUTERS

Anuna De Wever is asked what will be her job later. "Secretary-General of the United Nations", she answers with aplomb. Forfantry, naivety, farce? No. Her belief is well entrenched since she participated two years ago in a youth meeting on the rights of women in New York. Today, becoming the leading figure of Youth for Climate, the movement she co-founded, the 17-year-old Belgian teenager, argues: "The United Nations was a first attempt to unite all states, based on the belief that since we all live on the same land, we must unite and help each other. "

Sitting at the De Wever family table, Kyra Gantois, 19, agrees: "I will support you. " She would like to become a lawyer specialized in human rights " at an international level ". She is the lifelong friend and, for the moment, the linchpin of an organization that has emerged from nowhere, which is now mobilizing tens of thousands of young people on the theme of the climate emergency.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Climate: young French people are trying to get in shape

At first, in December 2018, when they first appeared on the streets of Brussels, they were 3,000, drying up the courts to ask the political world for concrete actions against global warming. Then 10,000, then 35,000, then thousands again in a Climate March that drew more than 70,000 participants on 27 January.

They promise themselves, beyond the fears of their parents, threats from school principals or skeptical comments from some politicians, to reoffend, Thursday, February 14, and then every Thursday. Then, again, to participate in the international strike for the climate scheduled for March 15.

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The strong and supportive words of Anuna and Kyra surprised all those – politicians, scientists and journalists – who met these two young women from Mortsel, a suburb of Antwerp. "We were told that at our age, we could not understand everything. But we have read all the reports of the IPCC, the climate change expert group! "exclaims Kyra. They contacted Skype with Greta Thunberg, the Swedish activist, their " source of inspiration ". "The strike and the demonstrations she imagined were so brave! " The young Stockholm activist will even say that the two Flemings are "Heroines", before Leonardo DiCaprio does the same …


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