Hundreds of young demonstrators, organised by the young Catholic Workers Organisation (J.G.C), marched through the?
Hundreds of young demonstrators, organised by the young Catholic Workers Organisation (J.G.C), marched through the centre of Brussels on Saturday (17 October) protesting against the situation in Brazil.
The demonstrators want the Belgian Government and the Vatican to oppose alleged persecution, repression and torture by the Brazilian Government. Torture of Priests in Brazil has been alleged in recent reports reaching European capitals.
Dozens of youth organisations sent contingents to take part in the demonstration, and the march had wide support from members of Parliament and from the Belgian Primate, Cardinal Suenens. The Young Catholic Workers Organisation received widespread sympathy in Belgium recently following reports from Brazil that J.O.C. members in Brazil had been arrested.
The marchers had a short meeting on the Boulevard du Midi at the start of the demonstration, when the objectives were proclaimed by speakers. The marchers then set off for the city centre.
To dramatise their case against the Brazilian authorities, some of the marchers walked in chains, others carried effigies, and others were convicts' uniform.
From the Belgian Government the young people seek the breaking of diplomatic relations with Brazil, and an end to the protecting of commercial interests in the country by supporting the present regime.
Further demonstrations are expected in Brussels on Sunday, (18 October), as well as in other European capitals.
The Vatican daily newspaper "Osservatore Romano" said on Saturday (17 October) that the Vatican was watching the situation in Brazil closely, although it pointed out that reports were so often contradictory that it was difficult to know exactly what was happening.
Last January Cardinal Maurice Roy, President of the Vatican's Justice and Peace Commission, said "We cannot remain deaf to the appeals of these Christian consciences who justly react against the attacks and violations of human rights in many countries."
He was answering a letter alleging cases of torture against Priests in Brazil.