Thursday, September 13, 2007

Yorkshire Miner’s Report From Brussels

Yorkshire Miner, a regular commenter at Gates of Vienna, sent us this report of his visit to Brussels on Tuesday. He also supplied many photographs, some of which I have included here.



A Danish protester
A Danish protester

Dear Baron,

I thought I should write you a report on yesterday’s demonstration in Brussels. I was right in the middle of it and during the day I ended up in both the Flemish parliament building and the E.U. parliamentary building so my take on things might give you a different angle. I had a lot of time to think about it while coming back on the train late last night. Smoke and Mirrors are the words I would use; to me seemed like a bit of very well organized political theater for the benefit of Vlaams Belang. There seemed to be two political agenda here and SIOE was certainly outmaneuvered and upstaged.

I had arranged to meet Aeneas at his Hotel at 10 o’clock. This I did, and was introduced to several other people who were also going on the demonstration. Flyboy from Canada (whom I think you know), Gaia, and another English guy whose name completely escapes me. Aeneas had arranged to meet up with someone from the Vlaams Belang at the Flemish parliament.

It was about a fifteen minute walk from the hotel, which was down near the Grand Place, to the Flemish parliament. We made our presence known and somebody came down to meet us. We identified ourselves, were given name tags and then escorted up to the offices of the Vlaams Belang.

Here I was introduced to Paul Belien. He is soft spoken with eyes that miss nothing. We talked to Mr. Belien for a few minutes before being introduced to lots of other people.

It was here that we met the Burka Babes wearing their “Stop the Islamisation of Europe” t- shirts. I assumed that they were the office staff. They were busy trying on their burkas. Filip Dewinter came in with several more members of the Vlaams Belang and a couple of men; I assumed these were his bodyguards. More introductions and shaking of hands, We were given coffee; it was a nice friendly atmosphere.

The meeting broke up after about forty-five minutes, at which point fifteen or so of us set off towards Schuman Plaza. This group included Paul, our contingent, and the Burka Babes plus a few more people I didn’t know. We didn’t see Filip Dewinter and his group so perhaps they took a different route.
 
Brussels
Protesters displaying flags


Brussels
Luk Van Nieuwenhuysen, deputy Speaker
of the Flemish Parliament


Brussels
Luxembourg Square
from the EU building


Brussels
Filip Dewinter
on the pavement
- - - - - - - - -
I had though our destination was to have been Luxembourg Square. Based on what I was told that was the starting point for the demonstration. On the walk to Schuman Plaza several of Vlaams Belang gave us tips concerning what to do if we were arrested: basically name rank and serial number. In addition we were to demand that any proceedings be held in Dutch. I was extremely curious as I expected a quiet demonstration. It didn’t seem to be in anyone’s interest to have things turn violent. This would be especially true from SIOE point of view.

The walk took about twenty minutes. Along the way, we observed signs of heavy police preparations. They were down every side street, quiet and unobtrusive. When we arrive at Schuman Plaza which was shortly after noon, the demonstration had already started.

The police were out in force. I saw two water cannons and countless police vehicles in the side streets leading off from Schuman Plaza. There were also several buses on hand, conspicuously prepared to remove the demonstrators. We stationed ourselves on the central reservation, no more than twenty yards from the demonstration. There was plenty of press in attendance; I saw at least one from Al-Jazeera.

The atmosphere was quiet and orderly. I certainly didn’t observe any real tension in the air at that point. You could walk through the police ranks, and it was obvious they quite outnumbered the demonstrators. Aeneas and several others stationed themselves just to the left of the main demonstration and unfolded their flags while Flyboy and I went through the crowd taking photos. By then, Filip Dewinter had arrived; he was walking through the crowd, shaking hands.

I cannot say what triggered the conflict; the police simply starting arrresting people. While that started a mêlée there was no serious fighting, I didn’t see anybody throwing punches. It was if somebody had a countdown and just pressed the start button.

You could still go through the police lines and take photos and you were certainly not molested. While this was happening, Aeneas and his small band, who were standing about five yards from the main group of demonstrators, were ushered to one side. It was obvious then that the police weren’t interested in detaining members of SIOE.

Paul Belien, in the mean time — complete with stetson — was quietly standing on the central reservation about fifteen meters from the bus that members of Vlaams Belang were being herded into. With each person thrown onto the bus, the police presented all the news camera with great photo opportunities.

Flyboy and I made our way back to Paul to show the pictures we had taken. We wanted to know what would most likely happen to those being arrested. He said that Belgium has a system of preventive detention. This is a sort of revolving door: they keep you in detention for seven to twelve hours and then release you without charging you with a crime. He said that Vlaams Belang had lawyers ready and had contacts in the police force.

The following ten minutes were very interesting. Luk Van Nieuwenhuysen, the deputy speaker of the Flemish Parliament, turned up disheveled but certainly not worse for wear. He was one of the demonstrators who had been manhandled into the bus. He gave me his card. He had escaped by climbing out of the emergency exit. No attempt was made to re-arrest him and we were no more than ten to fifteen meters from where they were manhandling the rest of the demonstrators into the buses. Then another gentleman came up to Paul. If I remember correctly his name was Demol and he was very well dressed. Paul introduced us to Demol, who turned out to be a former police commissioner, though now he is a Euro MP. Paul told me that Demol had been fired for doing his job arresting wrongdoers. (Having had a brother who had been a detective in the police for thirty years, in addition to a good friend who retired a couple of years ago as a chief inspector in England, I have a fairly good idea about how the police work).

Shortly afterwards things died down. Our group had reassembled, and with Paul in the van decided to go to Luxembourg Square to the other demonstration — a ten minute walk from where we were. As we neared the square we met Exile and several other gentlemen, one of whom was the press officer for the UKIP. It is funny I recognized Exile immediately and it was like meeting a long lost friend. Flyboy and I told the Press Officer that we had some good pictures of the demonstration. It was then decided that we should up load them to his computer so that he could sort out the best for their Blog. It took a while and things got rather complicated. To cut a long story short, forty-five minutes later, resplendent with name tags and photos we went up to the offices of the UKIP in the E.U. Parliamentary Building. Their space overlooked Luxembourg Square. Luxury offices, tight security and a gold plated expense account is the way I would describe it. Down below you could see the Danish and the British contingent standing around with a few police vans in the square. We joined them after the photos were uploaded.

It was nice to meet the Danes and the Brits. By all accounts things had gone off very quietly. Everybody seemed to gravitate to the terrace directly over from one of the entrances to the E.U. Parliament. The atmosphere was friendly as people moved from group to group introducing themselves. I even got a chance to practice my very rusty Danish. I was surprised by the reaction when I introduced myself as Yorkshire Miner: many people said how much they had enjoyed my comments on you blog. Thank you, Baron, for allowing me to bask in the shadow of your fame.

I met Anders Gravers and Steven Gash, I liked them both. Both speak well in front of the camera. I met Yggdrasil the Philosopher; we chatted for about thirty minutes — an interesting young gentleman. Anders and Steven went to a press conference later in the afternoon though they seemed to have been edged out by Vlaams Belang; Anders was certainly not pleased about the turn of events. They decided to continue their conversation privately. One of the Flemings who was with the party arranged for us to use the back room of the restaurant. As you well know most Danes and Brits are not teetotalers. Large quantities of excellent Belgium beer was consumed during the rest of the afternoon and early evening. I said my farewells about 8 o’clock and wandered back to the central station to catch the train to Genk where I had left my car. I arrived home about midnight.

Since starting this letter early this morning I have been trawling through different sites and I am even more sure now that my first impressions were correct: Vlaams Belang hijacked the demonstration for their own political ends. I found an interesting video with Bart Debie, whom I recognized as the person we went to see at the Flemish Parliament. In the video you can see him riding in the back of a chauffeur driven car while talking on the telephone. He was the picture of the perfect business man — suit, white shirt, and tie. The footage cuts to him as he walks into Anders’ hotel carrying a large bulging briefcase. He meets with Anders, shaking hands. Anders makes a statement and then the camera follows Debie walking out, talking once again on the telephone — busy, busy, busy, making even movement look like work.

He certainly wasn’t wearing that shirt and tie when we walked up to the demonstration together. Then he had on a Stop the Islamisation of Europe tee shirt. Perception is everything.

Demol, who I mentioned earlier turned up in another video giving an interview. In fact he was Johan Demol, the legal adviser for Vlaams Belang. I felt like a very privileged fly on the wall.

I don’t remember if I mentioned that I spoke and understood Dutch to anyone, I don’t recall doing it. I usually answer the people in what ever the language they address me. When I accompanied those who went to the Flemish parliament, we spoke English, Since the Flemish spoke English to us, I naturally answered in English. Of course I understood perfectly all that was being said. This also gave me an advantage while talking with the Danes and the Brits at Luxembourg Square. While my spoken Danish is exceedingly rusty, there is very little Danish I cannot understand. It was only later that it dawned on me that my receiving antennas, ears, had been operating in three language modes, while my loudspeaker had been functioning in mono, (English). I think it definitely gave me an advantage over most people there.

It was what I think you Americans would call a learning experience.

Deep Regards,
Yorkshire Miner


N.B.: Dymphna edited Yorkshire Miner’s original email for punctuation and clarity.

26 comments:

R. Hartman said...

You paint a disturbing picture, but it would seem an incomplete one. It partly contradicts the video-footage and reports on Brussels Journal, as well as a demonstrator's personal report (in Dutch) on Het Vrije Volk.

It's hard to assume that VB controlled the (Wallon) police and initiated the arrests, as you seem to suggest. The aganda seems more to have been Thielemans' than VB's.

You do not mention that non-VB related demonstrators were picked up as well and strip-searched, and that Italian members of the European parliament were arrested and manhandled as well. There's an official complaint from Italy about it.

All in all, I have to conclude that your report is probably anti-VB biased, but still it's a good thing to get as many different points of view on what proceeded as we can. The MSM never gave it any coverage, except (just a few) mentioning that a far right politician (De Winter) had been arrested at an illegal demo.

Whichever way you look at it, the Free World was raped in Brussels on Sep 11 2007, and for the masses in that free world, it went unnoticed.

IoshkaFutz said...

Though I salute all the participants of the anti-Islamic rally, I can't help but think that they chose the wrong place and time. As the very name of this Blog "GoV" indicates, the struggle against Islam goes way the hell back, in fact, it's 1400 years old. The issue is far too big to let it get embroiled in the regional politics of a mini-country that's about to disappear (rather squalidly IMHO).

Flanders Fields said...

Yorkshire, You had an interesting report. I agree with R.Hartman, however, that your perspective seems biased.

Vlaams Bloc did not have any influence so far as I observed on the SIOE contingent in Luxembourg Place. I'm not sure why you or others went on to Schumann Place. My understanding is that it was to begin in Luxembourg Square and proceed to Schumann Square.

I have a short account on the G
OV post, "This one takes the Prize". I was not aware of the Vlaams Bloc troubles in Schumann Place until I arrived back home and saw news reports (which seemed to be the only news reports coming out about the event despite the overwhelming news cameras and journalists presence at Luxembourg Place).

I am critical of anyone who is critical of others who participated. If you can't present the concerns of others who were present in a positive light, you are doing a disservice to SIOE and the movement. We can always find critical things to say about each other. We should reserve our public criticism for those who deserve it - those Socialists and the Leftist travelers who promote Islamisation as a tool to control the people and enrich themselves.

I applaud all who showed up and participated. The totalitarians were shown to be exactly what they are and will continue to be. The reasons for our movement can not have been made any more clear.

Zerosumgame said...

Yorkshire Miner:

VB did not really upstage your event. They added to it. The SIOE protesters have their issues with Belgium and the EU. So does VB. Think of it as a coalition; far-left groups do it all the time, combining radical Greens, Kill-the-Americans-Communists, Kill-the-Jews-Islamists, radical gay activists (how they show up with the Islamists is beyond me, but they do), and radical feminists, all for so-called "Peace rallies".

How much publicity would the demonstration have had without VB? How much smaller would it have been? How newsworthy would it have been without all those VB leaders being arrested, and without all the photos and videos of the over-reaction of the police.

Believe me, they did you a favor. They showed the repressiveness of the EU apparatus. You benefit from that, too.

Skender said...

I was also at the Luxembourg square Tuesday. SIOE says their demonstration was peaceful, and it was, but nevertheless there was also a very intimidating police presence (There was a water canon on the square and at least 2 water canons in the streets around it. I saw policeman at Luxembourg square with gas masks, helmets and tear gas).

The police arrested several people in a way that can only be described as one big media show. Why else would you need a group of more than 20 policeman to arrest a single person who doesn't resist? SIOE states on their website that only people "that apparently had not understood SIOE’s rule of only displaying SIOE’s slogans on banners" where arrested. That's simply not true. Yes, some of the arrested people looked like the kind of persons you wouldn't want to be associated with (although even they did nothing wrong. Wearing black clothes and shaving your hair is not a crime to my knowledge), but others were perfectly normal looking people who's only "crime" was that they were in the possession of a flag from a EU member state. Like the young man for example with the Czech flag. What did he to to be arrested? And what did he do not to be defended by the organisers of the march he came to Brussels for?

I was shocked by the way the overwhelming police force arrested peaceful demonstrators at the Luxembourg square, but I'm even more shocked because SIOE fails to support those peaceful demonstrators.

SIOE is very afraid of being associated with right-wing groups. I can understand that, but they should be careful not to distance themselves too much from the people that should be their allies. I still don't understand why they publicly attacked Gates of Vienna and The Brussels Journal. Couldn't they send them an email and and clear the misunderstanding in private? When I send some constructive remarks to the SIOE guys by email, I got a quite aggressive reply. They seem to assume that everyone is a saboteur until proven otherwise.

About the arrests of Vlaams Belang politicians: insinuating that the Vlaams Belang had an agreement with the police to put on a show for some publicity, is simply ridiculous. This was Thielemans show. He wanted to show his supporters how he deals with the people that want to break up the country that feeds them. He said on television that he asked the police to arrest the demonstrators, so it's not like the police acted without his approval. On the contrary, the Flemish public broadcaster confirmed that the police told them they were planing to let the demonstrators go ahead. Apparently, Thielemans ordered them to change their minds.

There are several demonstrations every year that are not organised by Vlaams Belang, but in which they participate. Often the organisers of such demonstrations ask that no symbols of political parties are shown. To my knowledge, the Vlaams Belang always honored such demands. Usually, they stay together in one group, sometimes with a banner that does not show the parties name or logo. I hope that in the future, SIOE can reach some agreement like this with the Vlaams Belang. Whether you like it our not, if the Vlaams Belang mobilises for a demonstration, there are likely to be lots of people. And lots of people is exactly what we need to attract attention to the problem of Islamisation. We can't do it with only those that were at Luxembourg square last Tuesday.

Yggdrasil said...

Dear Yorkshireminer :-)

Thank you for the opportunity to meet you in Brussels. It is very nice to put a face to the writings of someone - especially of someone you really like reading :-)

Just a comment on the picture you see as the top the page, of the elderly person.

He is a doctor and his name i Jørgen - he was a resistance fighter under the second world war, fighting the nazi occupation. He is now 85 years old.

He has been trying to warn the danish public about the treath of the islamization for many years, he is not a newcomer as many of the rest of us.

In my eyes, he is everything I would like to be at the age he has got. He has a very remarkable story, as young he had a severe disease - almost making him unable to work. He never the the less went fighting the nazi occupation, and after that he became a doctor. And at that time, there was no free education, he had to pay it himself, he comes from a poor background.

He has a character i really respect; stubborn, humble, and wise, and his smile it is like seeing the sun rising. This old face, all sudden spreading positive vibrations - and light in way. He is always on the right side of things.

He reminds a little of the hobbits of the lord the rings. Just going on in the face of danger, with courage and stamina.

Just thought you would like to know :-)

And thanks for the demonstration - it was one for the good guys :-)

Conservative Swede said...

I had already written my criticism of SIOE before this article was up, in another GoV thread. I also posted it at my blog. Read it here:
SIOE has only praise of the police for their efforts

Stephen Gash said...

ConservativeSwede

When you get off your arse and do something I might take your criticism seriously.

However, I expect you will continue to hide behind your keyboard burkha and keep on playing the keyboard warrior.

Sneering is easy, especially from behind a pseudonym.

Put your real name out there and do something useful. Otherwise stfu

ProFlandria said...

Yorkshireminer,

Thanks for providing your eyewitness perspective. However, I would like to provide a different perspective on some of your observations.

First, SIOE is in no position to deny Vlaams Belang (VB) their place in the demonstration - it is their home turf, and the demo's stated goals reinforce positions VB has taken for over a decade. The result has been political and media ostracism; it's a heavy price to pay when as the largest party in Belgium you are forced to act from the opposition. Besides, they did not display any party identification.

Second, what you saw could not possible have been "political theater". There are only two ways the VB could have purposely "created" a confrontation: (1) by collusion with the police, or (2) by a calculated gamble that the police would be provoked by their mere presence. The first theory can be dismissed off-hand: most Mayors in Wallonia are Socialist Party members; Vlaams Belang stands for everything they oppose. Given that city (as opposed to Federal) police are in the employ of the Mayor and are directly answerable only to him, the notion that Walloon police would cooperate with VB on anything is flat-out ridiculous. The second theory is not implausible; indeed it is a course of action I would applaud: if the Mayor is stupid enough to be tricked into making your point for you, it's only good chess (and politics) to encourage him to do so. However, consider this: the Brussels police notified VB as well as national TV that they would not interfere with a peaceful and static demo. This explains the reporter's astonishment in the video (linked in one of the earlier posts). Given national TV's hositility to VB, her assertion that this promise was made is fairly beyond suspicion. What happened at the demo, however, is that the police present at the front lines were all "imported" from Liege. The most likely explanation, therefore, is Socialist Mayoral collusion between the two cities (at the behest of the Parti Socialiste?) to lure VB representatives into a trap. Not surprisingly, being socialists the screwed up and the whole thing blew up in their faces. Thielemans has made a weak excuse that the "imported" police actually came from Namur, but that is a distinction without a difference - and a large number of riot vehicles were marked "Liege" anyway.

Finally, I have to agree with Skender regarding SIOE's attitude problem. It is very apparent on their website; they have a communication problem that needs attention. I have been fortunate in growing up in an anglophile environment in Belgium before moving to the US so I am familiar with Germanic/Nordic translation issues to English (without proper care, we come off as insultingly blunt). Fact remains though, you really can't afford to impugn like-minded allies when you are on their home turf and they have basically been fighting your battle for years. SIOE should have done a more thorough recon of the political realities in the terrain they choose to fight on.

None of this, however, diminishes SIOE's actual achievement: they organized an international effort in the Capital of the EU, and they got some great press (as Skender pointed out, with help from VB - whether they like it or not). This event did not go unnoticed, even if several media outlets interpreted it wrong. Let's take this as a lesson learned and build on it! By analogy, Dieppe 1942 was an Allied disaster - but without the lessons it provided, there would have been a bigger disaster on 06 June 1944.

In a final point, I would like to posit that the likelihood of neo-nazi's and like-minded thugs showing up to protest Islamization is simply not plausible - the disciples of Hitler and the followers of Mohammed have a historical and ideological connection that is too deep and wide. Global domination, death to the Jews, hatred of Western (anglo?) civization - it's all too juicy to fight over among brothers....

ProFlandria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ProFlandria said...

As an amplification to my earlier post, here is an account at the (English language) Dutch blog "Klein Verzet" confirming the origin of the police officers at the scene...
http://kleinverzet.blogspot.com/

ProFlandria said...

Stephen,

I just read your comment directed at ConservativeSwede... I'm sorry to say that you made my earlier point (about communication) for me. I took the trouble to go to the link he provided and while his tone is direct and he makes some implications at the end, he does not resort to petty namecalling. As a matter of fact I believe this is exactly what we need: frank and honest exchange of ideas in order to BUILD. But, if you insult people, you turn them off. There goes you grand plan for world conquest (just kidding, of course ;)

As for posting anonymously, the poster is not anonymous to the owner of the blog. Furthermore, some of us may be former Belgian citizens who may not be in a position where they can risk official representatives of a repressive regime (like, say, Belgium) making life unpleasant for them - not even in a country like the US. Hypothetically speaking, being employed in a defense-related position and supporting the dissolution of a NATO partner could be a career-crippling adventure. Like I said, this is all just hyothetically speaking - all the same, in support of all people who might be in this situation, I, for one, will continue to post anonymously.

And lastly, for the love of all that is good and holy, mind the language!

Roland said...

I think the SIOE is outright rude to the arrested protesters. Perhaps 20% of those arrested were from the VB, I was arrested at Brussels central station, I haven't been at the VB demo. I had no flags, banners whatsoever. A German tourist was arrested, he didn't even know there was a demonstration. Now you are praising the police and blaming the VB for the arrests, and even worse, you're criminalising those of us who were arrested for no reason.

I wasn't arrested because of the VB mr. Gash, I was arrested because Thielemans is a fascist. I peacefully try to attend your demonstration and after I got arrested you kick me when I'm down by writing with glee that I deserved it. Not only didn't I get any support from you when I was in jail, you criminalise me on your website and deny me a way to defend myself.

I am very disapointed in you. I traveled 200 miles to get there only to get kicked and scorned. Scorned by you.

Thielemans can be happy. He had his sturmabteilung beating the hell out of political opponents and even innocent bystanders for no reason, and he has the SIOE website justifying his undemocratic, even outright fascist attacks on innocent bystanders. Something smells rotten in the state of Denmark?

Roland said...

Addendum:

The SIOE would not supply me with legal assistance, the lawyer of the Vlaams Belang has offered to assist me. He made a formal complaint and a case is made. He will help both the arrested VB members and the arrested SIOE demonstrants. They ask people to send their stories and complains to them.

Coveliers & Coveliers Advocaten
hugo@coveliers.be

momera said...

@Conservative Swede: Well Said! I've also wrote about this article on Sioe. My commands were removed by the moderator. These two, Gash and Graven clearly can't stand criticism!
http://rookgordijn.org/?p=56#comments





@Stephen Gash and Anders Graven:
First of all I want to thank you for your outstanding job towards the arrested demonstrants and the non-arrested ones.You really supported us, specially your remarks regarding the so called justified police actions really gave me warm feelings. I don't know to what demo you attended but Iwas at the Luxembourg Square at about 11;30 AM on the 11th of september 2007.
And this is what I saw before I self was arrested. I saw you, mr Graven, sitting on the terrace zipping your beer and talking to the press. Nothing wrong whith that, except, looking at the time, I found it at least very strange that no attempt what so ever was made to
assemble the protestors, to speak to them so that we could start at 12:00 hrs as planned.
Meanwhile myself and others were surrounded by the riot-police who were closing in on us fast and hard. We were handcuffed and taken from the square to be searched. This happened right in front of your eyes. You were still sitting there dringing your beer and talking to
the press. You made no attempt to act like a responsible man who, among others, organised this demo for crying out loud. You let it happen. Anyway, non of us were dressed abnormally, and non of us were waving flags.(By the way, there is no law against waving a flag.)
You said there were only a few arrests made by the police. Helloho, have you been sleeping or were you only informed by Tielemans. Have you not seen the clips and photo's on the net, there were made 154 arrests. We were kept prison for more than seven hours. These arrests were completely at random: Eldery people, teenagers, bystanders. We, the demonstrators didn't us any violance. The only violance was used by the police. One man got even a heartattack in prison and you have got the stinking nerve tho say that it was our on fault, that we didn't understoot the SIOE code?

Mr Graven,Mr Gash, By the statement you made you have betrayed us all. You are starting to sound like mr Tielemans and that is nothing to be proud of. Please rectify on your site so that the people who were brutaly arrested while expressing their constitutial rights get a little bit of their dignity back. You lost yours in Brussels on the 11th of September 2007.
Please never organize a demo again. You are not to be trusted

own fault, that we didn't understoot the SIOE code?

Mr Graven,Mr Gash, By the statement you made you have betrayed us all. You are starting to

sound like mr Tielemans and that is nothing to be proud of. Please rectify on your site so

that the people who were brutaly arrested while expressing their constitutial rights get a

little bit of their dignity back. You lost yours in Brussels on the 11th of September 2007.
Please never organize a demo again. You are not to be trusted!

Monique

Henrik said...

For those annoyed by lack of MSM coverage of the Brussels events, here's some redemption:

http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070914/EDITORIAL04/109140007/1013/EDITORIAL

They rate it "Most important news of the week".

Enjoy :)

Stephen Gash said...

This whole thread proves SIOE's point, it is all about Vlaams Belang, which is of course what they intended all along.

Yes we were aware that people had been arrested coming off the Metro etc.

This was because of Schumann Square, not what was happening in Luxembourg Place.

Let's not forget that in Luxembourg Place 2 maybe 3 people were arrested. National flags were visible. The police were aware of our rules and probably made arrests based on those.

Yes we praised the police for their restraint in Luxembourg Place and we got to do what we wanted.

I'll not take criticism for the way we did things. Anders and I were betrayed by Ulfkotte and Vlaams Belang, in our opinion and in the opinion of many others.

All the Schumann Square debacle achieved was notoriety for some politicians who displayed their worth to the world, as nothing more than typical politicians. No better than Thielemans in my view.

We entered into an agreement with Vlaams Belang and paid the price.

Anders's and my good names were sullied by Schumann Square, so if I come across as a tad angry, hard luck.

We tried to elevate the cause of anti-Islamism action to the world stage, and Vlaams Belang dragged it down again, in my view.

Skender said...

Sorry Mr. Gash, but it is simply not true that only 2 or 3 people where arrested on the Luxembourg square. I was there, I have pictures of 9 different arrested people at the Luxembourg square between 12h15 and 12h40. That are only those I have a picture of. I didn't take pictures of everyone.

momera said...

Mr. Gash, I dare to say that you're a magnificant lier! In front of Mr. Gravens eyes, My husband and I were arrested, as well as about 30 other people. I know this because I stood beside those people, against the wall. You know this too, because pictures of us were made. So you can check this on several sites on the internet. You should be ashamed of yourself, you was there and you didn't want to see it. This al happened on Luxembourg Square. at 12:15 hrs. Mr. Gash, you and your friend Graven, were too busy to provile yourself. We didn't hold any flags, banners or what so ever. We've kept our end of the bargain, you didn't!

So stop lying and face reality, you've messed up big time!

Monique

Roland said...

One thing stands out.

Mr. Gash is allowed to post here without restraint, We are not allowed to post at mr. Gash's site.

prof_dr_gen said...

@Skender,

Used some of your excellent photo-footage in this YouTube'r about my trip to Brussels from Amsterdam and my thoughts afterwards. Hope ya don't mind,

Kind reg's,
Sag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxQZm2zyMfY

Aeneas said...

I was in Schumann Square and as far as I could see Vlaams Belang were completely blameless. The aggression and violence that I saw was completely delivered by the police and by them alone. Old men and members of the European Parliament were violently pushed to the ground. The demonstration was peaceful except for the part played by the police. It is a complete outrage that members of the European Parliament and other representatives of the free people of Europe were treated in this extraordinary and uncalled for way. If members of the US Congress were treated with such contempt as the then this outrage would have been covered across the globe and unanimous international condemnation of such human rights abuses would have followed. Any actions that totalitarian states can perpetrate, the EU and its agents can equal!

It was Mayor of Brussels and his supporters in the ruling EU Socialist group who were to blame for the confusion that was caused. I am thankful that their outrageous attack on free speech did not result in serious bloodshed. Their bungling attempts to subvert democracy and free speech in the European Union could have created a very dangerous situation.

It is absolutely vital that a public inquiry of some kind is put together to investigate this violation of the most basic of our freedoms. The Mayor of Brussels and the EU Socialist Group owe the people of Europe a formal apology for ruthlessly trampling on their rights. I demand such an apology to me personally, and the Mayor himself should resign from office immediately. Vlaams Belang are also owed a grovelling apology from the Mayor and the EU. The EU Socialist Group, in its support for the Mayor’s decision to outlaw the demonstration, are guilty of subverting democracy and the freedom of the people of Europe. They are undermining the very basis of civil society in Europe. We should all unite in condemning the outrage that they perpetrated. I was shocked and outraged by what I saw on 9-11 in Brussels and as far as I am concerned the ruling clique in Europe showed its true authoritarian colours. It is they and not Vlaams Belang (who have been criticised in some quarters) who should be the target of our criticism.

The only fascists in evidence in Brussels on 9-11 were the agents of the thoroughly disreputable and violent Belgian State. The sooner the people of that imprisoned country get their freedom the better. My heart goes out to the Flemish champions of freedom who turned out in defiance of the dictatorial Mayor and his supporters in the EU. Well done Vlaams Belang, you exposed the tyrants for what they are.

Skender said...

"It is absolutely vital that a public inquiry of some kind is put together to investigate this violation of the most basic of our freedoms."

@Aeneas: I agree, but this is Belgium. An official inquiry is not going to happen.

@prof_dr_gen: No problem at all. They are there to be used.

pistache said...

>>"Let's not forget that in Luxembourg Place 2 maybe 3 people were arrested. National flags were visible. The police were aware of our rules and probably made arrests based on those."

Mr Gash, you're either blind, either an unashamed liar!

From someone who was on Place du Luxembourg.

Y_not said...

This is what I posted on the SIOE-blog on 11/09 around 17.00u after I came back from the demo (it didn't made it through moderation). So that was before the new SIOE-postings regarding the demo.
My english is not SO good, but here goes:

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SIOE BRUSSELS DEMO 2007 - some lessons for the future:

1/ the exact time and place should be known asap, so at the beginning of giving rumour to it. I remember me posting to SIOE somewhere the end of august and asking where and when the demo will take place.
Even now there is still nothing on the item “Brussels Demo 2007” I'm sure some people will have gotten a look at it during august en the beginning of september.

I got my up-to-date-info from SIOE and knew the time and place to be, but I'm sure a lot of people have gotten there info via via and didn't have a clue.
There where several rumours on the internet: Luxembourgsquare, Shumansquare, in front of the European Parliament, in front of the European Commission (they're several buildings of the European Commission in Brussels. Even rumoers about the timing 12am, 13am to 16 am on Shumansquare!

2/ the demo was banned by the mayor and especially that was news to the media. A lot of people where scared to come. They didn't knew what they could expect, they're afraid of getting wounded, losing their jobs (especially people working in the public sector: government, administration), etc.
For the future: find a place where the demo will not be banned and organise from then on?
In Belgium maybe Ghent (the former mayor was known for letting all demo's going on just as a matter of freedom of speech, don't know about the current mayor).

3/ the rumours that the demo would be highjacked by some extreme-right groups and all the attention around that also in the media. Now that won't be a reason to cancel a demo next time.

4/ the cancelling of the demo by Udo Ulfkotte and again all the news around it.

5/ the rumours of a violent counterdemonstration

6/ There should have been a few leaders on Luxembourgsquare around 11.30 am with banners from SIOE so people would know they're on the right place, or something like “SIOE-meeting point”.
As long as there not a lot of people gathering at some point, everybody is looking at the other.
At that moment we need some leaders that are grouping the people, telling them what to expect, (bring a megafoon with you), some strong representatives where the rest of us can stand behind.
Let people know that they are there for a reason and not letting them wonder what to expect, how to proceed or not. So basically giving information.

I was on Luxembourgsquare around 11.45, sitting on a terras drinking my coffee and looking at the people. Is saw several people coming to the square, looking around for some time and leaving again.
I talked to some people around, also at an elderly couple with flags from norway: they were confused, didn't know what will happen, saw no SIOE-banners of whatever.

Then the police arrested some youngsters who did, what? (I haven't seen them being aggressive or so, nor heard them shouting or whatever). Yes they where wearing bomberjackets, boots and had short hair, that's all!

7/ the phonenumbers provided: tried all of them (except the press-number) several times: no answer. But I must say was phoned back by the “legal help”

8/ The participants of the demo where divided, especially between Luxemburgsquare and Shumansquare.

I heard Anders Gravers on Luxemburgsquare telling at the press that indeed there weren't a lot of people, but that this was just the beginning, the first step. I asked him if the demo would go to Shumansquare. Anders Gravers said the police will not allow that. Therefore I left to take a look at Shumansquare.

Saw around 12.15pm about a hundred people on Luxemburgsquare and around 12.35 pm some hundred an Shumansquare but I heard from some foreign correspondents that there were already two busses(?) of people arrested before I arrived at Shuman, so I guess a lot (?) of other people already took off when I arrived there. Can someone tell how many participant there where at Shumansquare?
Looking at the pictures from the newspapers I think most of the participants where at Shuman.

update:
I see now on the net: “HLN.be” that some politicians where arrested on the Luxembourgsquare, I guess they came there after I left. Also on “De Morgen” an update at 15.25 pm (police arrested 50 people in European district).
Seems that Philip Dewinter and Frank Van Hecke (Vlaams Belang) were arrested violently during an interview.

It's unfortunate that we lost that first occasion for a mass-demonstration against the islamisation of Europe and maybe a momentum to build upon for future events.
But I'm sure all of the above counts in for that...

At least I can say I was there, but... also wondering where the leaders where, where SIOE was, where the rallying cries where.

I'm blaming nobody here but I think SIOE need to learn some lessons now to anticipate in future events.

I hope this will get through moderation.
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Conservative Swede said...

Y_not,

I'm awaiting Stephen Gash to come here and tell you "Do it yourself!"

It would also be interesting to hear from Stephen why this comment was banned at the SIOE site. I mean, while it's good that Stephen encourage other people to take their own initiatives, I think it is also good to encourage an open dialog.