Thursday, September 13, 2007

Eyewitness Report From Luxembourg Square

Exile came down from Copenhagen to the 9-11 demonstration in Brussels and was there with the SIAD contingent in Luxembourg Square. He’s home now, and has an excellent report, with photos.

Before the demo started:

Luxembourg SquareBelieving that a good reconnaissance is of value to the troops, I got into the centre early and made my way alone towards Luxembourg Square. I scouted the side streets and sat for a half hour on Luxembourg Road to “read the street”. Police in civilian clothes, police on motor cycles and the armoured brigade hidden up the side streets. Battle lines were being drawn.

And later:

One man stood out in the crowd for me. A Dane, about seventy years old, on crutches. Having no hair, he described himself as a real skinhead and was interviewed by two press people. A real hard line right wing extremist if I ever saw one! I was so proud of that old guy, and his wife. It had cost them dearly to be there, but there they were. They deserve everyone’s respect.

You’ll also want to read his report on a different sort of illegal demonstration last year that the Brussels authorities did allow. It’s an eye-opener.

[Nothing follows]


Conservative Swede said...

Exile wrote:
In short then, we were no more than 1500 at the most, spread over two locations and the police were effective in stopping many from getting to Luxembourg Square by filtering the Metro and bus stations and blocking streets. However, those of us that got through made our point, spoke to the press and cost Freddy Thielemans a packet. The police presence alone was an indication of just how afraid I believe some of the Euro-politicians are and encourages me to continue.

Yes, Exile is completely right, this demo was a great success. Very encouraging; inspiring. The overreaction of the Eurocrats show how weak they are. This is a huge balloon that can be pricked if we continue bashing it.

Regarding the numbers, Exile reminds us of there being people in two places. His number of 700 in Schumann Square seems to be very inflated compared to other reports. I thought the biggest crowd were in the Luxembourg Square. Nevertheless, putting the two places together there must have been at least some 500 people attending, and then there where all the people who were blocked by the police from coming to any of the squares. How many? One, two, three hundred? If 500-1000 people came down to Brussels in spite of the demo being banned, and with all the threats of traps, police violence, Jihad counter-demos, etc., this is not bad at all.

I spent the rest of the afternoon swapping e-mail addresses, recruiting new SIO… bloggers and we will shortly have The Tjech Republic on line, France, Netherlands, Russia and Belgium. These people were eager to start something in their own countries, so I referred them to Anders Gravers or Stephen Gash.

I'm glad to hear that the Czech are part of the cadre now. I expect that this is going to be very useful.

Exile said...

My estimate is based on the following:
I counted, or tried to count, the people in Luxembourg square. That comprised the VNJ youths, some Christian Truthers, onlookers(?) and the SIOE folks. Counting the first two hundred and then looking around to estimate the size of the crowd, I reckoned at one point we were about 700 in Luxembourg Square. That was around 13:30, at the high point of attendance. I heard from others, who had been at Schumann Square, that as many as 600 - 800 were there. The population at both places shifted with time.
This why I said "at most" to my own estimate. I cannot guarantee the numbers at Schumann, I never reached it, though I did try, but finally thinking it prudent to remain where I was and avoid arrest. I could do more, I thought, by holding the fort at the pub I mentioned. It worked. I met a lot of people.
I would agree that my numbers may be a little exagerated, due to estimation and movement of the crowd but it is probably more accurate than the general press estimates, that concerned themselves more with "us" SIOE folks, than others who appeared. I am not deliberately inflating the figures, merely going on the information I recieved and my own "headcount".

I hope this clears it up.