Friday, September 14, 2007

The Press Conference at the European Parliament

This past Tuesday, after the 9-11 demonstration in Brussels, the Vlaams Belang facilitated a press conference for SIOE and other interested parties at the European Parliament building.

A reader who was present at the press conference and privy to the arrangements sent us the following account of what happened:

The only people who are allowed to give press conferences in the EP are members of the European Parliament (MEPs). MEPs can, however, invite other groups, whom they support or with whom they work, to give press conferences, in which case, however, the inviting MEP has to be present at the press conference.

When the demonstration was being organized the Vlaams Belang (VB) suggested that Udo Ulfkotte hold a press conference at the EP. Because the VB did not want to impose itself they proposed to arrange for a non-VB MEP to invite the SIOE people. To this end the Italian MEP Mario Borghezio was asked to invite them, which he graciously did.

However, on Tuesday morning the Brussels police beat up Mr. Borghezio and arrested him together with Frank Vanhecke, one of the VB MEPs. Hence, SIOE would not be able to give its press conference, arranged by Mr. Borghezio, because Mr. Borghezio would not be able to attend. [Note: Mario Borghezio is visible in the right-hand photo below, wearing a green scarf. — BB]

Brussels demo

Since SIOE did not know any MEPs they called upon the help of others, and eventually, Philip Claeys, a VB MEP who had escaped arrest, agreed replace Mr. Borghezio and invite Anders Gravers and Steve Gash to the EP. It became rather embarrassing for him when it turned out that Mr. Gravers was wearing a bulletproof vest which ignited the flash lights of the metal detector. An account of this was posted at the Brussels Journal.
- - - - - - - - -
The security people really came out in force when a female associate of Mr. Gravers’ from SIAD also wanted to get through with a bulletproof vest. She did not want to reveal the cause of the problem with the metal detector, and the security people were concerned. It took some time to sort out these difficulties.

Even the head of the EP security staff had to be called in to get Mr. Gravers’ group through, and Mr. Claeys had to offer the security staff his apologies. No one has ever entered the EP buildings in a bulletproof vest.

According to the rules of the EP, Mr. Claeys had to be one of those giving the press conference. Obviously he wanted to talk about the arrest of his party chairman and fellow MEP Frank Vanhecke. This was not to the liking of Mr. Gravers and Mr. Gash, who refused to address the press alongside a member of the VB. Hence, they went to sit in the room with the audience, while Mr. Claeys, together with Koen Dillen, another VB MEP, gave the press conference, making it quite clear that they were not the organizers of the demonstration.

Of course, some of the journalists asked questions relating to SIOE. When Mr. Gash intervened to answer them from the middle of the room, the journalists told them that the audience had to keep quiet and that if he wanted to say something he had to sit with Mr. Claeys, whereupon Mr. Claeys invited him to join him, which he refused. Thereupon Mr. Gash and Mr. Gravers left the room, shouting to Mr. Claeys that he had hijacked their demonstration.

If any other readers who were at the press conference want to supply additional details, please email them to us, or leave them in the comments.

36 comments:

prof_dr_gen said...

I posted this comment on the SIOE site where it was banned. It was a response to the article about VB supposedly breaking an agreement:
*.*.*
Dear SIOE,

I 'respectfully disagree' with your take on the VB issue..

Using VB to mask your own shortcomings (and the SIOE organizers are not beyond criticism, believe it or not), that's what this is predominantly about (i.m.o.)
SIOE really must consider it's own impact of relatively little importance and you (whoever wrote the abovementioned article) may be quite right about that. Earlier on, before the demo took place, there were rather unnecessary and unpleasant comments directed at Paul Belien and Baron Bodissey, so a pattern unfolds of directing blame at others (pre-emptively or in retrospect) whenever pressure increases or things are not working out as smoothly as expected.

Some counter points-of-view on the 'hi-jacking' by VB in the comments section here:
http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2007/09/yorkshire-miners-report-from-brussels.html#readfurther

How can you speak convincingly about 'forming coalitions' or 'a Europe-wide network of cooperating activists', whilst displaying such defensive behaviour?

*.*.*

I don't think SIOE sets a good example when freedom of speech is concerned ;-)

Conservative Swede said...

My comments have been banned too. Who expected anything else? Could that have anything to do with how Stephen Gash wrote "stfu" too me? Is there a hidden message there?

To the last post at SIOE there is only one comment that has been allowed so far and it ends with "The organisers have handled this matter well and Vlaams Belang deserve to be censured."

The whole crux of the events in Brussels at 9/11 was about free speech. The leadership of SIOE has shown that they didn't understand the big thing about the event they initiated, and what left an impression on people. And now they have shown that they do not understand the importance of the concept of free speech at all.

Baron Bodissey said...

Freedom of speech is the issue here, and I really believe in it.

I expect and welcome disagreement and contrary discussion, but a blog is only a semi-public forum, in that it has proprietors who have a right to make and enforce rules. We have some newcomers here, so let me make Gates of Vienna’s rules clear:

I expect commenters to be civil and temperate with one another, even in disagreement.

I expect language to be polite, because various home-schoolers send their older children here to further their education. This is one of our functions that I value highly, so I delete obscene and sexually explicit comments immediately. In American terms, we apply PG-13 rules.

I object to gratuitous name-calling and insults.

Except in the case of the PG-13 rules, I try to err on the side of permissiveness when the discussion gets heated, because I want people to have their say. And even with obscenity, if I don’t disapprove of the comment otherwise, I’ve been known to delete it and repost it myself, inserting asterisks where required.

So use asterisks, folks, and don’t call each other names. Otherwise, have at it. :)

Zerosumgame said...

A comment to SIOE Protesters:

If you are disappointed with the turnout you had on Sept. 11, here's a thought:

Instead of doing the usual European thing and look for a scapegoat (in this case, the VB), why don't you do the American thing -- look at yourselves, wonder where you went wrong and correct it?

Organize better.

a) Have more websites, and put them in the USA, where they won'te shut down.

b) Develop a e-mailing list, and make sure you send messages regularly.

c) To avoid hate crimes legislation, be prepared for leaders to run this out of Poland or another East European country.

d) Be sure to contact every conservative media outlet in the West that will listen -- Fox News, the NY Post, Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, numerous other American conservative talk show hosts, and the newspapers in Europe that oppose Islamicization -- Telegraph, Times, Daily Mail, Jyllands Posten.

e) Oh, and apologize to the VB. And mean it. Promise you will work WITH them in the future, not against them. These people may run an independent nation soon. Why piss them off?

Conservative Swede said...

Zerosumgame said:
A comment to SIOE Protesters:
[...]
Instead of doing the usual European thing and look for a scapegoat (in this case, the VB), why don't you do the American thing -- look at yourselves, wonder where you went wrong and correct it?


This is actually a real example of the kind of America vs. Europe pissing contest that has been discussed in other threads. So Phanarath and JCS, if you want to complain about pissing contests, this is the place to do it.

Notice how Zerosumgame conflate the SIOE leadership with the SIOE protesters. For anyone following the discussion the last few days (just look in this thread for starters), it has become abundantly clear the Gash and Gravers are completely disconnected from reality, and do not represent the SIOE protesters.

How much abuse are the people arrested at the Luxembourg square going to have to take? First from Thielemans' thugs, then from the leadership of SIOE, who said they deserved it. And now they are being used as pawns in Zerosumgame's pissing contest.

It's been Gravers and Gash who shown that they are not up to the task, with their small-minded scapegoating of VB; blaming any failure and flaw of their own on someone else. All while the Europeans and SIOE protesters in general have strongly objected to this dishonest scapegoating. To Zerosumgame this translates into scapegoating being the typical European and SIOE protester thing.

I'm sure that Zerosumgame meant no harm, and that this kind of pissing just comes naturally.

Conservative Swede said...

Just as Gash and Gravers didn't mean no harm either, also for them the kind of pissing comes naturally.

Zerosumgame said...

Conservative Swede,

Notice how Zerosumgame conflate the SIOE leadership with the SIOE protesters. For anyone following the discussion the last few days (just look in this thread for starters), it has become abundantly clear the Gash and Gravers are completely disconnected from reality, and do not represent the SIOE protesters.

Then my point is still valid. If there is a problem with the SIOE leaders, then is up to the rank and file members of SIOE to do something about it -- either change the leadership; or make the present leaders do the right thing.

This is true of any political party. It is no different for SIOE.

Again, you betray another European trait -- the detachment of the leaders from those being led. This is not surprising, since Europe has always been basically an elitist oligarchy -- first the Church, then the nobility, now the EU bureaucracy -- none of which ever listened very much to the common man.

Well again, I stay STOP ACTING EUROPEAN, AND START ACTING AMERICAN!

You don't like the leadership? Do something about it.

Conservative Swede said...

Yes, those people who were arrested at Luxembourg square have had four full days, and they haven't yet toppled the leadership of SIOE. So very European! Let's start a pissing contest against them!

spackle said...

While I find some of what you said in your comment constructive I am quite baffled as to why you would obviously bait people who are equally commited to the cause? It is obvious that you are proud to be an American, as am I. As is Conservative Swede proud to be Swedish and European or else he wouldnt be here and running his own blog. Baiting people like that can only lead to a zero sum game.

Skender said...

I just found this article on the SIOE blog:
There were peaceful demonstrators arrested on 9/11
. To me, this sounds like the SIOE organisers are prepared to learn from their mistakes. Maybe it's time to give them an other change by offering them assistance in the organisation of further events and by sending our further remarks to them by email in stead of quarreling openly. I hope this can be the start of the second part of our struggle against islamisation.

Stephen Gash said...

ConservativeSwede said "Let's start a pissing contest against them!"

Well, that is just about your level of effort. Which is exactly why Sweden is being pissed all over by Islamists, of course.

Did you actually manage to get to Brussels, or were you diligently wearing off the letters from your keyboard?

Hey I just heard ConservativeSwede was organising an anti-Islamist demo in Sweden!

A pig has more chance of scratching its arse on the Kaa'baa of course.

But if you do get one going CS I'll be there - and I will join YOUR effort and not arrange one down the road.

Conservative Swede said...

Spackle,

I'm not at all proud the be Swedish, which I think I have made abundantly clear. The "Swede" in my moniker is merely descriptive. Swedishness is something that sticks to me like a crummy leg.

Stephen Gash said...

VB did not invite SIOE on the stage at the press conference stage BTW, when it was pointed out that we would have to be invited. We looked for an indication, but none was forthcoming, so we walked out and Anders stated the obvious as we left. Some journalists nodded in agreement.

Anyway, we've made our point and I'll say no more.

Conservative Swede said...

Skender,

SIOE is a good organization but the leadership needs to be replaced. They have put themselves in an impossible situation.

Stephen Gash said...

skender "To me, this sounds like the SIOE organisers are prepared to learn from their mistakes."

Please email me and explain. Will you be emailing VB and explaining their mistakes to them, too?

Conservative Swede said...

Stephen Gash:
"so we walked out and Anders stated the obvious as we left. Some journalists nodded in agreement."

So you have not only the Brussels police on your side, but also the MSM. Good for you!

Btw, if you calm down a little and go back in the thread, you'll find that a certain comment of mine was irony. Very clear and obvious irony.

Conservative Swede said...

Stephen Gash said...

skender "To me, this sounds like the SIOE organisers are prepared to learn from their mistakes."

Please email me and explain. Will you be emailing VB and explaining their mistakes to them, too?


To paraphrase Skender: To me this does not sound like the organisers are prepared to learn from their mistakes.

spackle said...

Spackle,

"I'm not at all proud the be Swedish, which I think I have made abundantly clear. The "Swede" in my moniker is merely descriptive. Swedishness is something that sticks to me like a crummy leg."

Sorry CS, I had no idea. I am not familiar with your whole oeuvre of writings. I will never attempt to defend you again.

Conservative Swede said...

Spackle:
I will never attempt to defend you again.

You should not be writing here to defend me. You should just simply write what you think, such as if you disagree with Zerosumgane. And I believe that you did. All well.

I must say that I was unaware that my comment would offend you.

spackle said...

CS,
I was not trying to defend you per se,you just happend to wind up as an example in my comment. As you know when writing we dont have the pleasure of voice inflections to read someones tones of speech. I just took your comment to be sarcastic. It seems you didnt mean it that way so lets just forget it. All the best.

Conservative Swede said...

Spackle,

You are absolutely right in what you say and I'm sorry I gave you the wrong impression.

While it's good to focus on the issue and not the person, it not good to be so focused on the issue that one forgets the person. And I think you helped me see that I sometimes do that mistake.

Thank you for your kindness.

PS. There's not really a clear line between sarcasm and honesty when I write.

Stephen Gash said...

ConservativeSwede "PS. There's not really a clear line between sarcasm and honesty when I write."

Yet your irony is crystal clear allegedly

Conservative Swede said...

Stephen:
"Yet your irony is crystal clear allegedly"

In that specific case: yes. You still didn't get it, did you?

Zerosumgame said...

Mr. Gash & Conservative Swede:

How do you expect to defeat the Islamofascists, when they are ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause, and you are not even ready to sacrifice your egos?

Conservative Swede said...

Zerosumgame:
How do you expect to defeat the Islamofascists, when they are ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause, and you are not even ready to sacrifice your egos?

I think Gash is something of an exception here, but if it makes your ego bigger to see him as the typical European, it's your privilege.

Btw, why are you using the euphemism 'Islamofascism'? Are you as too many other people trying to solve old problems and fighting old wars? Living in the past is a sure way to failure.

Conservative Swede said...

Stephen Gash,

Hard words have been exchanged. However, as I already mentioned in my comments of the Marseille post, many good things were achieved by SIOE in this demo. You managed to attract the right kind of people for the demo, having the right kind of message. I consider the demo a big success, and and thank both you and Vlaams Belang for creating this success. Well done! You have done a great effort in achieving something good for this planet.

Phanarath said...

Conservative Swede

I cant really find any arguments against Zeros Central point here. We have a lot to learn from the Americans when it comes to organising ourselves. We used to be better at it, but the welfare state has corroded most of the traditions for it.

For example we sometimes here about Americans organising themselves to help out someone who has had some bad luck, or they organize a bake sale or something to get a new roof for the local school.

We used to have the same mentality in our own countries, as in Sweden and Denmark, but now people mostly look to the state. The left has always been pretty good at organizing to make demands on how the state should use the taxes. But this is just organised begging and not the - taking matters onto our own hands - mentality that we used to have.

What worries me about Zeros way of talking about this problem is that he and others like him, seem to live in the illusion that these problems could never come to the US. As the welfare state in the US grows, these problems will surely follow. Zero seems to think we have this problem simply because of our "Europeaness", and that's dangerous. But its dangerous for the Americans, not so much for us.

Conservative Swede said...

Phanarath,

Your answer seem to imply that you also agree with Zerosumgame's first central point, that the usual European thing is to look for a scapegoat. Is that so?

Phanarath said...

Ah no.

I was thinking about another "central point" the problem conservative Europeans have with organizing ourselves.

But if we where to look at Europe, as in the left wing-Europe, I would agree with that other point also. But it could be said about leftwingers everywhere i think. Zero usually focuses on the bad in Europe. And there is a lot more to Europe then what Zero sees. But if one presents that he is only talking about the "left", then what he is saying makes a lot of sense.

It is sad for Zero, that he sees only left wingers and Antisemitism and I have had my own arguments with him about it. If to many Americans believe like Zero does. America is going to leave herself open for a lot of trouble.
But I suppose its human nature to look for something bad in people that bad things happen to, in order to convince one self that it will only happen to those others.

It would be better if more Americans understood that what is going on in Europe is a very serious warning.

Conservative Swede said...

The right-wing has problems in organizing themselves everywhere, it's the left-wing that gets things done.

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

It helps if one has no scruples whatsoever.

Phanarath said...

Conservative Swede

True.

But the Americans are still a lot better at it then we are. I hope things are beginning to change. More and more Europeans are beginning to see that the state is letting them down. The Americans have the never put as much trust in the state as we have.

Henrik said...

Zerosumgame is right on the mark when he suggests Gash&Gravers to apologize towards VB for not respecting the rules of the EP.

Perhaps also to the rest of us for not taking the opportunity to talk to the 30-something journalists present there.

Conservative Swede said...

Phanarath,

If you find inspiration in Zero's American chauvinism and his "STOP ACTING EUROPEAN, AND START ACTING AMERICAN!", and you feel that this is empowering you, than I won't be standing in your way.

I, however, consider Zero's attitude un-American. We can learn a lot from America, but not from the attitude represented by Zero here.

Conservative Swede said...

Henrik said:
"Zerosumgame is right on the mark when he suggests Gash&Gravers to apologize towards VB for not respecting the rules of the EP."


?????

Phanarath said...

Conservative Swede

We should try to be inspired by Americans in areas where they do better then we do. And yes, in some areas it would serve us well to act more like Americans.

I wasnt advocating that we should Imitate Zeros Attitude towards Europe.

Two very different things.