Call of the Keelbeek

We, inhabitants and friends of the Keelbeek, an 18ha big terrain of preserved nature at Haren (Brussels), call for your help and support !

The Keelbeek is endangered, in a very short time, by a building project for a mega-prison which will hold 1200 inmates. The biggest one in Belgium. The procedure for the construction of the mega-prison is progressing rapidly.
The claim to list the Keelbeek, introduced by the inhabitants and organizations for the protection of nature, was rejected by the Brussels Region on October 2nd 2014. The building is planned to start in spring of 2015 and the opening of the prison would take place in 2017. The prison is supposed to be built by the group of enterprises CAFASSO, under the direction of the ‘Régie des Bâtiments’ and for the Federal Public Service of Justice.

Building a new prison, burying soil, on which food can be grown, under solid concrete : these are choices of society that demand debates. These debates are dreaded and fled by the investors of this mega-prison (businesses, public services and MPs of every party) who are driven by financial gain. They wish to accelerate its construction and push this anachronistic decision through by force.
Let’s dare open these public and parliamentary debates on carceral politics, on the management of public finances through public-private partnerships, on the future of agriculture and food sovereignty in Brussels, on the denial of democracy.

 inhabitants and friends of the Keelbeek, settled on the grounds since August 2014, inspired after the collective planting of organic potatoes on April 17th ,
 inhabitants of the village of Haren, attached to this unique and vital space of nature in the middle of a disproportionate accumulation of infrastructures,
 inhabitants of Brussels, concerned about the biodiversity in our Region and about its viable character, worried about the fragility of our industrial food system, in the face of an accumulation of crises in the near future
 at the side of the animals and plants living in these grounds,

we call upon the inhabitants of this country, upon the lively forces who don’t want to resignate before the decline of the world. We call upon you to join us, to meet on the grounds, to act together against its irrevocable destruction, to act together to continue creating and maintaining the conditions that are favourable to life, on these grounds and elsewhere.

No to the covering in concrete of the soil, whichever it is !
No to the construction of the new prisons !
The dominant model is falling apart before our eyes. Let’s not wait any longer. Let’s bring together our creative powers to create a future that is enviable to all. Let’s unite !
We are angry, with a rage that’s nourished by a visceral sadness before the destruction and the imprisonment of the living.
We don’t feel powerless, we are not scared.
We support life and we are supported by it.
We are not alone and we are not ready to abandon.

We call upon all of you to come to Haren, to discover the site of the Keelbeek, to enjoy this piece of nature, to make it known and to participate in the numerous activities that take place. To occupy the grounds, to live there, to work the earth and protect it.
Let’s make it teeming with life in whatever possible way !

United we are strong. Long live the free Keelbeek !
Signed : inhabitants and friends of the Keelbeek
Brussels, Haren, 4th Octobre 2014