By John-Henry Westen
BRUSSELS, September 12, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A September 11 demonstration against the "Islamization of Europe", where protesters planned a moment of silence to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy in the United States, was banned by the Socialist mayor of Brussels Freddy Thielemans claiming he feared "chaos and security threats". Despite the ban, over 200 Belgians went ahead with a peaceful demonstration and joining them were the several prominent pro-life politicians.
What then transpired is something reminiscent of Tiananmen Square. Brussels Journal reporter Paul Belien who was at the scene describes the police brutality not only with words but with photos and video.
"Riot police units from Liege in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium, maltreated the demonstrators, many of them from Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, in an excessively violent way," reports Belien.
On video police are seen brutalizing several politicians from the Vlaams Belang party and members of the European Parliament. Vlaams Belang (VB) is currently the second most important party in Flanders and one of the largest parties in the country.
VB supports natural marriage and family life through tax reform and opposes same-sex marriage and adoption by homosexual partners. VB also opposes abortion, except in cases of rape or for medical threats to a mother’s life, and supports relaxation of the country’s strict adoption laws. VB also proposes Flemish independence and in that respect is similar to Canada’s Bloc Quebecois, a large national party which proposes secession of Quebec.
Belien describes the scenes shown in the video:
"The grey-haired man whom we see being attacked by the police first is Luk Van Nieuwenhuysen, the Vice-President of the Flemish Parliament. Shortly afterwards we see the police maltreating Frank Vanhecke, a member of the European Parliament and the party leader of the Vlaams Belang. We see how he is handcuffed and pushed into a police bus. Afterwards we also see the police "taking care" of Filip Dewinter, the VB group leader in the Flemish Parliament."
See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR-J8cXYVIo&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.brusselsjournal.com%2Fenglish
Note how Dewinter’s hand is beaten with a baton at the end of the video. The demonstrators were kept in cells for seven hours and released.
In this photo Vanhecke is seen held by police officers while one of them pinches his scrotum. "As they did so they shouted abuse such as "Sale Flamingant" (Dirty Flemish-secessionist)," reports Belien.
Flemish television reporter Goedele Devroy told a colleague that she was amazed by the brutality of the police against the peaceful demonstrators "who just stood there." She added: "This is strange because, when I rang the police this morning, they said that they would tolerate the demonstration if the demonstrators would not use violence and if they just remained put and would not try to march."
An Italian MEP and a French MEP were also arrested.
The Italian government has complained to the Belgian government about the arrest of Mario Borghezio, an Italian member of the European Parliament, protesting against the violation of his parliamentary immunity by the Belgians.
Belgian authorities have also heard a complaint from prominent Slovak politician Vladimir Palko. Palko, of the Slovak Christian-Democrat Party KDH, has written Alain Cools, ambassador of Belgium in Slovakia and publicly protested against the illegitimate use of force against peaceful demonstrators in Brussels.
In his open letter, Palko wrote: "Until today, I thought that something like this is possible only in Lukashenko’s Belarus, in today’s Europe. Moreover, I do not understand why it is forbidden in Brussels to demonstrate against islamization of Europe. Islamization of Europe is a serious problem. We can have various opinions and disagree about solutions needed, but it is highly important to freely discuss about them."
Concluding his letter, Palko wrote: "I hope that in future we will not hear about such events anymore and that European Union where we live together will be area of liberty, not a soft-tyranny."
To express concerns to the Belgian government:
Embassy of Belgium in Washington, United States 3330, Garfield Street N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 United States Phone: +1-202-333-6900 Fax: +1-202-333-3079 +1-202-333-5457 Email:
General Consulate of Belgium in Toronto, Canada - 2, Bloor Street West, Suite 2006, Box 88, Toronto, Ontario M4W 3E2. Tel: 416-944-1422, 416-944-1423, 416-944-1424 Fax: 416-944-1421 E-mail:
For Belgian embassies in other countries see this list: