Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Arrests in Brussels

I posted newer updates here.

See this post for a disturbing video of today’s events.



Solve It!

Solvit!
Do you have a problem with dissent?
Try the EU method!

Note: The earliest reports are at the bottom of this post.

Final update 9:39 am EDT

Now that this story has made it to the MSM, I’m closing live-blogging. When I get audio-visual material and/or transcripts, I’ll compose separate posts.

Many thanks to the readers who helped me, and to the CVF contingent in Brussels.

Update 9:03 am EDT

The English-language MSM has picked it up now. This is an AP story from The International Herald Tribune:

Police arrest 2 far-right Belgian leaders at anti-Islam 9/11 protest

Police arrested two leaders of a Belgian far-right party Tuesday for staging an illegal protest against the “Islamization of Europe,” six years to the day after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Police scuffled with some of the 200 people who converged on two squares in the EU district of Brussels to protest against what they perceived as the rise of Islam as a significant political force across Europe. Officers handcuffed two leaders of the far-right Flemish Interest Party, which is very critical of Muslim immigrants, and took them away in police vans.

Protesters sought to use the Sept. 11 anniversary to point out that Islam threatens democracy and the rule of law in Europe.

The demonstration was initially planned by Stop Islamization of Europe, a loose alliance with roots in Germany, Britain and Denmark, which had predicted that 20,000 people would come to Brussels from all over Europe.

Brussels Mayor Freddy Thielemans banned the protest last month, calling SIOE an inflammatory group and its proposed demonstration a threat to public order. An appeals court upheld the ban Aug. 29.

Only 200 or so protesters showed up Tuesday for a protest lasting only 30 minutes. The demonstrators faced more than 100 police, backed up by water cannons and helicopters, who closed off streets around the EU headquarters.

“We support the goals of the demonstration to protest against the lack of freedom of expression in this country,” said Frank Vanhecke, the head of the Flemish Interest Party, before he was bundled off to the police station. “And we also we fully agree that the rise of Islam in Europe poses a risk to our values.”

Update 8:48 am EDT

SD sends another amended machine translation, this one from the French. I amended it a bit further:

Around fifty of people were questioned in the EU district of Brussels within the framework of the prohibited demonstration against “the Islamization of Europe”.

Among those questioned are the president of Vlaams Belang, Frank Vanhecke and the leader of this extremist party in the Flemish Parliament, Filip Dewinter.

These are administrative arrests, but nevertheless “muscular”. Some of those questioned resisted, according to the police, who were mobilized in force. Handcuffed by means of “colsons” [?], they were taken along by van. The police position in the EU district (Luxemburg Square and Schuman Square) and in the underground area of the STIB subway, is important. On the spot however, one counted more journalists that demonstrators. This demonstration had been prohibited by the mayor of Brussels, with prohibition confirmed by several court orders.

Update 8:39 am EDT

The latest word from the field:

SIOEI just got a call from Flyboy, and he reports that the demo is over. Marchers who started at Luxemburg Square were prevented from reaching Schuman Square, which is where all the arrests took place. He has video, photos, and interviews, including footage of Vlaams Belang members being beaten to the ground and arrested.

Neither he nor any of the people with him (including Paul Belien and Aeneas) were arrested. The conclusion seems to be that the members of Vlaams Belang were specifically targeted for arrest.

I hope to have some of the visual material before long.

Update 8:31 am EDT

Reader AT sends this link to a webcam at the Grand Palace.

Update 8:23 am EDT

I haven’t been able to find any news of this on the web in English, but our Swedish correspondent SD just sent his amended machine translation of an item from Brussel Nieuws (further amendations by me):

Brussels — The organizers of the prohibited anti-Islam meeting have this midday tried to demonstrate in Luxemburg Square. But the police force of Brussels arrested the participators systematically. The Vlaams Belang protests in the meantime in Schuman Square against the meeting prohibition.

The police force is massively present in the European Union district to prevent riots. The participators do not get the chance to demonstrate in Luxemburg Square. As soon as they appear they are immediately arrested. Also the foreign press is clearly visible, present on the square. Of the expected thousands of participators is little talk: in Luxemburg Square about 200 people collected, in Schuman Square about ten — especially members of the Vlaams Belang. They protest against the meeting prohibition by Brussels mayor Freddy Thielemans (PS). He prohibited the demonstration because security could not be definitely assured. Vlaams Belang leaders Frank Vanhecke and Philip Dewinter were this midday arrested in Schuman Square and were taken away by the police force.

In spite of a prohibition by some of the organizers of the movement “Stop the Islamisation of Europe” (SIOE), their followers have nevertheless come down on 11 September to Brussels. The activists say they want stop the invasion of Islamic customs into Europe. Of the organizers, German Udo Ulfkotte from Pax Europe officially distanced himself last week from the event.

Update 7:45 am EDT

Henrik, in the comments, has this to say:

I just got a phone call from a friend of mine. They heard rumours of arrests, but they’re fine, no mass arrests where they are. They are debating if they dare put up their banners.

The story from Paul sounds solid, too. Could there be two separate groups?

That might be the case. But when I spoke to my contacts on the phone, all three reported that police were using their batons while they arrested people and put them in buses.

And here’s something I forgot to report earlier: Aeneas said that people were lying down in front of the police buses, to try to keep them from departing with their cargo of arrested demonstrators.

Update 7:02 am EDT

This just came up in via Google News, from Expatica:

Dewinter to attend banned protest

Vlaams Belang figureheads Filip Dewinter and Frank Vanhecke plan to take part in the banned demonstration against the “Islamisation of Europe” on the Schumanplein in Brussels.

“We will look at what the situation is, but our plan is to join the protest,” says party chairman Vanhecke, who, as member of the European Parliament, will also be receiving the organisation’s list of demands.

“It is not our demonstration, but we sympathise with the aims. I also expect that quite a few of our people will be there.”

On its website the party distances itself from “marginal and obscure neo-Nazi groups that might try to steal the spotlight.”

As reported earlier (see below), Frank Vanhecke is among those arrested.
- - - - - - - - -
Update 6:54 am EDT

According to Flyboy, there are video cameras from local media everywhere, so we should eventually see this in the news.

So far there is nothing about it on Google News.

6:29 am EDT

I just received a phone call from Aeneas, a British blogger who is in Brussels for the SIOE demonstration. It was hard to hear him during our conversation due to the sirens in the background.

The demonstration is proceeding, and, despite the rumors in advance, the Brussels police are not allowing the demonstrators to protest without hindrance. People are being dragged away by the police and put into buses.

Flyboy then got on the phone and told me that riot police have been deployed, and that dogs and water cannon are being used against the demonstrators. There has been no violence except by the police. I could hear the demonstrators chanting and dogs barking in the background.

Paul Belien of the Brussels Journal was the next person to talk to me. He says that there are maybe 500 demonstrators in Schuman Square, and that many of those are being arrested and carried away. He has seen Danish, Swedish, British, American, and Canadian flags on display.

There is a large contingent of Vlaams Belang (the Flemish separatist party) at the demonstration, and the party’s leaders are among those arrested. Mr. Belien says that the president of the party, Frank Venhecke, was beaten to the ground by the police, arrested, and put into a bus.

It seems that the police are trying to arrest everybody at the demonstration. I will add updates when I hear more.

30 comments:

Zerosumgame said...

Did anyone get this on video, and can they get it to Fox News?

Baron Bodissey said...

Zero, I'm glad you reminded me. Massive videotaping going on by local news.

Nothing yet on Google news.

Zerosumgame said...

Baron,

I would hope that Paul can use his contacts at the WSJ and Washington Times to get publicity. The Washington Times is a major news source for FNC.

Zerosumgame said...

Also Baron,

I e-mailed Glenn Reynolds. Let's see if you can't get an Instalanche on this one.

Zerosumgame said...

Baron,

Also sent to Malkin & Powerline. Charles Johnson checks this site regularly, as do some of his minions, so I'm sure he'll see it.

the doctor said...

Could this demonstration and the police over-reaction be the tipping point leading to the breaking up of Belgium ?

Henrik said...

I just got a phone call from a friend of mine. They heard rumours of arrests, but they're fine, no mass arrests where they are. They are debating if they dare put up their banners.

The story from Paul sounds solid, too. Could there be two separate groups?

Zerosumgame said...

It worked! Expect an Instalanche, Reynolds has it up.

Now, if Drudge and Breitbart would only pick it up....

Henrik said...

What is an 'Instalanche'?

Zerosumgame said...

Henrik:

That's when Instapundit links to you -- he's the top conservative blogger in the USA (and probably the world) and gets 250,000 visitors per day.

When he links to a site, the traffic to that site typically goes up by a factor of 5 -10.

It's a combination of Instapundit and Avalanche.

Henrik said...

The rational explanation for this seems to be two groups. My friends also reported 200 in attendance, not 500 as Paul said.

Hucbald said...

"There has been no violence except by the police."

Who were coerced - directly or indirectly - by fear of Islamofascist violence, thus, ironically, proving the protester's points.

Rich.

PapaBear said...

One thing about the US: the police are restrained from getting too out of hand in beating otherwise-peaceful demonstrators, because if they go too far, the demonstrators have the ability to come back with equal (or superior) firepower

Henrik said...

Hucbald, an interesting and sad fact. They are doing the work of the Islamists :(

Another friend of mine reports that his Polish friends have been arreted.

Henrik said...

My Hungarian friend now reports that they now held the planned 1 minute of silence for the victims of 9/11, and that there will be a press conference at 16:30. They are at Luxembourg Square (next to the EP), no police brutality has been spotted there.

Henrik said...

Update: He said 'At the corner' of Luxembourg Square. That seems to make quite a difference.

Kleinverzet said...

HLN.be (NL) says there have been around 50 arrests.

anti-uffe said...

Maybe it's a bit premature to draw any conclusions from these events, but as I said in another thread a few days ago, non-centralized activism such as the unfurling of banners may be more productive. In any case, the whole concept of demonstrations smacks of hoary old left wing MO, and the focus will inevitably be on the circumstances rather than the politics behind it. I hope this will become an annual event, seeing how they try to suppress it. Sure makes me want to participate one way or the other.

Kafir_Kelbeh said...

Interesting that so many police, including riot forces, could be in attendance, given the mayor's safety concerns.

Based on the numbers, you'd think there'd been several thousand, not 200. Looks like Belgian police could've protected the demonstrators after all...

Typical lying crap from a politican. Who here's really surprised?

Cassandra said...

First images (a slide presentation of sorts) of what is basically the molestation of Vlaams Belang people, Vanhecke and Dewinter:

http://www.hbvl.be/nieuws/Binnenland/default.asp?art={F07328F7-07E1-4AC7-A13E-CB77E4E6A48C}

Scroll down a bit.

The people in tees and black bags over their heads may be Flemish or Dutch members of SIOE.

falcon_01 said...

I forwarded to WND- at least there's a hope of them trying to cover this... I don't see mainstream covering it, no matter how many people are beat... unless it is spun in such a way as to make these people look bad for not wanting to be oppressed. Sad.

Gordon Pasha said...

Far right, eh? Is that what it means, to want to preserve ones culture and freedom?

eatyourbeans said...

200? Only 200? The Spartans scraped up 300 once.

Maybe Europe is nothing but a field of stupid cattle who deserve what they get.

A sad but revealing day.

Eris said...

Folks,

perhaps you should encourage US and other western businesses to remove their offices from Brussels.

Eris said...

Suggest send pics and videos to bloggers such as www.zombietime.com and www.littlegreenfootballs.com

Eris said...

Massive Federation Forming to Confront Radical Islam

WASHINGTON DC, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Today on the anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, a massive federation to combat radical Islam has been officially declared. The Anti-Jihad Federation , as it is being called, is coming to be the name known for any and every organization involved in confronting the threat from Islamic Jihadists. Leading Federation organizers are stressing that the Anti-Jihad Federation is a non-entity, has no cd, such harter, and is not an organization or group, but is comprised of any and all organizations and groups resisting the Jihadist threat which faces the West. Although there are many organizations involved in confronting the Jihad, and each have varying views, beliefs, and methods, the Federation is being called a uniting movement with the hopes to add and aid cohesion and communication between organizations currently working to defeat Jihadi threats and supporters. It is being said by many that the establishment of the Federation demonstrates the importance of unity against such threats.
Leading elements within the Federation include many organizations which take part in grassroots activism to confront the threat from radical Islam and to protect the Western world for generations to come. There are many organizations around the globe who are actively involved in confronting Jihad; such organizations include JihadWatch, United American Committee, Vigilant Freedom Group, American Congress for Truth, America's Truth Forum, as well as hundreds of other organizations which are constantly growing as the powerful movement against radical Islam builds. Such organizations comprise an integral part of the growing Federation against the enemies of the Western world. The Federation also includes individuals spanning all ages, ethnicities, religions, and countries, who may not be affiliated with any organization yet who are united in opposing Jihadists.
Though not every organization may be right for everyone, everyone who is against Jihad can find the organization that is right for them through the Federation. Such research can be conducted through the website http://www.FederationMovement.com which lists various organizations involved in the Anti-Jihad Federation. This site also offers resources for individuals wishing to participate in protecting this generation, and the future from Islamic totalitarianism for generations to come.

CastoCreations said...

Very sad events. I feel like I've been transported back in time to Nazi Germany and pre-WWII America. Head in sand. Hands over ears. Hear no evil. See no evil. *sigh*

The Sanity Inspector said...

This series of posts is excellent citizen journalism. Thanks so much for posting.

USpace said...

Great posting on this, thanks! This really exposes the EU for the thugs they are, and these Cops are total Pigs in the true sense of the word.

They are all human garbage. Just doing their job? Hitler's S.S were just doing their job too.

I hope it is their daughters who will be the ones inevitably gang-raped by the roving Muslim pedophile monkey thugs.

This will help to publicize this issue though, maybe next year there will be 20,000. Let these Oinkers and Fascist Pigs try to stop that, or how about 200,000 the year after that?

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never call BAD Cops PIGS

we will NEVER forget
you 9/11 victims
will get justice


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
be very afraid...

of saying the wrong things
TRUTH is especially BAD
.

x_dhimmi said...

This post is linked to and your blog is listed in Credits to my latest Youtube video entitled “FREEDOM OF SPEECH & ASSEMBLY DEAD IN BELGIUM”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImdNLRqZ8SU

Godspeed to all you do in defense of liberty and justice,
x_dhimmi