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This guest blog post is reprinted from the Hollaback Brussels Facebook page about the “Chalk Walk” they took on March 24, 2012.
Morning. Saturday. 10.30 am. The sun’s slowly coming up over the rooftops. The streets of Brussels are greeting us. All 4 of us are on ‘our way’. Anxious.
We meet up at ‘Ribaucourt, Molenbeek’. The place where Angelika was harassed. The streets still look quite empty, as if Brussels hasn’t fully woken up yet.
We arrive cheerfully to the ‘spot’, we organise, make our DIY ‘banners’, excited. Time to start. This is Angelika’s moment. With colorful chalk she starts to write on the sidewalk. People pass by glancing quickly, trying to read what she’s writing. ‘I was harassed here. I Hollaback. I reclaim the street.’ she writes strongly.
When it’s over we hug and congratulate Angelika and with our banner she goes and stands at the top of her chalk-text, reclaiming this street, this sidewalk!
Next stop: Lemonnier. The place where Anna was harassed. The tram takes us there and Anna retells parts of her story. She shows us where she went and stood trying to get away from her harasser, there, in the middle of that four-lane boulevard.
The ritual is the same. She starts to write, getting into the moment. People pass. Try to read. When it’s over we hug her firmly and congratulate her. She proudly and beautifully reclaims this spot.