In response to a series of terrorist attacks in Brussels Tuesday morning, which killed 30 and left another 230 injured, Belgian authorities effectively shut down the city’s public institutions and transportation systems.
Despite the threat of additional attacks, Brussels’s citizens took to the streets today to spread a message of love. Belgians flooded the Bourse de Bruxelles (the Brussels Stock Exchange), turning the public square’s floor into a living mosaic of chalk-work tributes. What the population had to say, to both the world and to themselves, was nothing short of touching.
Their messages, which appeal to ideas of compassion and solidarity, have been posted to social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.
“Spread hope, not fear,” reads one earnest entry. “Chocolate, beer, & love are still better for humanity than bombs & hatred,” another declares, while a third reads: “The enemy is not a community. Ignorance, rage, and symbolic poverty is the enemy.”
At the foot of the stock exchange, citizens fashioned an alter of flowers, potted plants, and candles to pay tribute to the victims. As seen in an Instagram post, a violinist has recently staged what appears to be an impromptu concert.
These contributions are undoubtedly humbling displays in a time of mourning and uncertainty.