A mayor bans the holding of a far-right conference in Brussels.  “It's a hell hole here.”

A mayor bans the holding of a far-right conference in Brussels. “It's a hell hole here.”

No, no one is allowed in anymore. There are no candidates for the French presidency either Mr. Zammour. Belgian police officers at the door were adamant when Eric Zemmour, Marine Le Pen's main rival on the French far-right wing, filed his report at the entrance of the club where he wanted to speak to a room full of far-right politicians and intellectuals on Tuesday. afternoon.

Then the outstretched hand of Philipp DeWinter, leader of Vlaams Belang, appears among the officers from the doorway. He also cannot convince the officers to allow Zammour. “Welcome to Brussels!” he says to Zemmour. “As Trump said, there's one here hellhole!

It was supposed to be an important meeting of the far-right movement, this version of the conservative National Conference, two months before the European elections. Brexit pioneer Nigel Farage was present on the programme, as were controversial former British minister Soella Braverman and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. And so is Zemmour.

But at the request of the mayor of Sint-Jost Ten Noed, the part of Brussels where the conference will be held, the entire conference was canceled after the organization was forced to change locations twice within 24 hours. A statement said the conference threatened to “seriously disrupt public order due to its apparently provocative and discriminatory nature.”

Problem: When the mayor's ban appears, the conference has already begun.

Fucking scene

It produces an absurd scene in Brussels. Inside, Farage and Braverman continue talking. MEP Rob Ross, who represented the Forum for Democracy and JA21 but broke with both parties and now sits alone in Parliament, has also already spoken.

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But anyone who was not inside early in the morning will not be allowed inside. Anyone who wants to go out for a period of time is no longer allowed in. The food supplier is also no longer available. “And worst of all, the drinks didn't arrive either!” Farage says on stage. “This is crazy,” Rob Ross later said. “They dragged their feet to ban it.”

Leader Vlaams BelangPhilip DeWinter The mayor is a socialist and a Turk who uses the police as a private militia

Anti-fascist activists threatened to take action if the conference was held. However, most doubts among the invited guests go to Mayor Amir Kiir. He was expelled from the Socialist Party in 2020 and is fighting for his political survival in the upcoming elections.

Over the officers' shoulders, the grey-haired DeWinter launches into a full-length speech about Kerr, a “socialist and a Turk,” who uses Brussels officers as a “private militia” and deprives attendees of access to food. He focuses his gaze on the gathered press: “We are starving!”

Suddenly united

“I came here to write a story about the Conservatives, as a topic for the European elections,” says a slightly spooked American journalist out the door. She went to get a kebab after Farage's speech and was not allowed back. “Now it's a news story about a banned conference.”

“I think they can no longer deal with freedom of expression,” Orban wrote sarcastically on Channel X in the afternoon. If the organization wins summary proceedings, he will speak at the two-day conference on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, a search for a new location is also underway.

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The mayor's intervention thus leads to an ambiguous outcome: the organization has to cancel several speakers, but is suddenly in the spotlight. The far right, which has a knack for fighting itself outside the tent in an international context, has rarely seemed so united. With thanks to Brussels officials.

“It means the event is getting more attention than we could have ever gotten,” says Rob Ross. He has already left: he wants to address a group of farmers in Brussels.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo responded to the ban on Tuesday evening, saying: “Unacceptable. Municipal independence is the cornerstone of our democracy, but it can never override the Belgian Constitution, which has guaranteed freedom of expression and assembly since 1830. The ban on political gatherings is unconstitutional.

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