Flashmob 30/4: Dreaming of a Brussels without street harassment & violence

Thanks to everyone who participated in our first flashmob that took place on Monday the 30th of April at Gare Centrale!

The slogan of our flashmob was “I’m dreaming… of a Brussels without sexual harassment & violence.”

And that was exactly what we were doing: We were “dreaming”. First up was our team member Anna, who walked to the side entrance, looked into the sky – and unveiled a sheet of paper on her back with the inscription: “I’m dreaming.. of a Brussels without sexual harassment & violence. Do you think this is possible? Come and stand next to me.”


Two more “dreamers” came and joined, absorbed in a daydream about a friendlier Brussels, a Brussels where everyone can feel safe, without the fear of being harassed, insulted or assaulted. Then five more activists joined…

… and finally the rest of the crowd. We stood there for five minutes, dreaming, watching, seeing passers-by who stopped and read our messages. Some of them nodded with approval, some of them stayed and waited, wondering what would happen.

Then we dispersed, as quickly as we had arrived…

… and came back a few moments later, with our brand new banner, in order to raise awareness for the cause and gather ideas on what we could do in order to tackle the problem of sexual harassment in Brussels.

We talked with a lot of people, and some interesting discussions arose, providing us with new ideas and boosting our motivation to carry on the fight for the good cause!


Thank you once again to all the volunteers who helped us & our Outrage! friends – this would not have been possible without you!



In our next post, you can read about the proposals we collected!

(Photos by Patsy & Nina)

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6 Responses

Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments

  1. I love your Flashmob Awareness. May we borrow your idea? I have to say it saddens me that violence against women and children is happening globally.
    My hope is for a world without violence.

    Kathy Griffin
    Executive Director
    Bethany House

  2. hollaback! brussels says:

    Thank you very much! Yes, of course you can borrow the idea, just go ahead! You’re right, it’s sad that violence against women and children happens all over the world, but fortunately there are also everywhere people speaking out against it. Together we can do it!

    Your Hollaback!Brussels team

  3. Peter says:

    With all due respect to any initiative you are doing to prevent this atrocious behaviour. But I wonder if you shouldn’t go more political. It is election time for the communes after all. What do you think about finding one female ambassador in every commune who seat in the board of echevains. Imagine how many women might vote for her. This city deserves better then being dictated by testerone-apes.

    Peace out.

  4. hollaback! brussels says:

    Dear Peter,
    Thank you very much for your comment. Though we support a better representation of women in politics, we are an apolitical association. That does not mean that we have no demands on politics (e.g., that the issue of harassment should be a topic talked about in schools), but that we do not support any specific party or political organisation, which would be difficult to avoid when putting your proposal into practice. However, we hope that the stories posted on this site will shift readers’ understanding of what harassment means and inspire legislators, police, and other authorities to take this issue seriously.
    Thank you once again for commenting.
    Have a nice day.

    Your Hollaback!Brussels team

  5. […] harassment. Check their Facebook and Twitter pages for dates. Most recently the group organized a flashmob at Gare Central. […]

  6. Babs says:

    I’m thinking about moving to Brussels again. I was born in Brussels, grew up in Brussels, studied in Brussels and am working in Brussels again since a year. I love living in the city, walking around… just walking, discovering new places, shops, bars. Lately, however, I realized I didn’t feel at ease anymore. Actually, I sometimes feel stressed thinking about the fact I’ll have to walk through Brussels alone. Sometimes, I take a longer way to get somewhere so as to avoid area’s where I know men use to gather together and shout at girls passing by.
    I’m not sure anymore I’d feel safe/happy moving to Brussels … Should I give up MY city and my wish because of all those men making me feel worthless and scared?
    I feel like it’s only getting worse and how will it be for our daughters if nobody reacts right now? I completely agree we should move this issue to a political level! We need rules and sanctions to protect our women! I guess politicians do not think about adding this issue in their political program because it just seems crazy (and embarrassing) to do so in 2012 in a country which is supposed to represent freedom of rights and equality… Lets’ just think about this: is it worth to deny a threatening problem just because we’re too proud to do so?

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