Sunday, December 16, 2018


Today, DEC 16, was March Against Marrakesh Day, a demo orchestrated by several Flemish nationalist youth movements a.o. Vlaams Belang Jongeren, KVHV (Katholiek Vlaams Hoogstudenten Verbond), NSV (Nationalistische Studentenvereniging), Schild en Vrienden and Voorpost (although the latter is in fact a Dutch/Flemish organization). Brussels Mayor Philippe Close and Minister President of Brussels Capital Region Rudi Vervoort, both Parti Socialiste, had vetoed it earlier this week. However, Filip Brusselmans of KVHV on Friday had his lawyer appeal at the Council of States with a judicial emergency procedure and on Saturday the Council ruled that the demo could proceed - as a static one however, on Schuman Square. Fair enough. I wrote earlier that the Council of State is a decent judicial body.

Even had the Council's advice been negative, I would have participated in the demo. There's simply too much at stake. Every legal means to stop the Belgian government from ratifying the UN Pact on DEC 19 at the UN in New York must be pursued, including moves that can topple the government. Something which, thus far, nearly succeeded. But as it was, with the Council of State's green light, I needed not worry about being apprehended (or so I thought). After an uneventful ride I arrived in the Capital at about 1 pm, parked my car on the parking lot of the Cinquantenaire, and walked down the centre axis of the park towards Schuman Square. As I arrived at the roundabout, everything seemed quite calm, though I could hear jeering and now and then rather large petards in the distance. To the right on the photo you see the Berlaymont Building, which is the European Commission's "HQ". The Commission itself is spread over give and take 60 (!) other buildings, but "The Berlaymont" is the nominal seat of the President of the European Commission and his College of Commissioners. Apart from that, the X-shaped building houses the following departments: the European Political Strategy Centre, formerly known as the Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA), Human Resources and Security (HR), the Brussels Office of Infrastructure and Logistics (OIB), Communication (COMM), the Secretariat-General (SG), and the Legal Service (SJ).

Advancing along the Wetstraat/Rue de la Loi. Everything still calm. The weird building "behind" the Flemish Lion flag is the Europa Building, the seat of the European Council and Council of the European Union. The EU is not short of buildings in Brussels, I think there's at least 80.

Between the Berlaymont Building and the adjacent Karel De Grote/Charlemagne Building (which houses the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, the Directorate-General for Trade and the Internal Audit Service of the Commission), the Karel de Grote Avenue crosses underneath the Wetstraat/Rue de la Loi. I noticed that the crowd was looking out over the concrete shoulders of the latter towards a scene playing out in the Karel De Grote Avenue:

Sure enough, there was some turmoil. I was quite confident that the demonstrators would heed the calls of Tom Van Grieken and Dries Van Langenhoven, VB and Schild en Vrienden chairmen respectively, to remain disciplined and protest peacefully, but in every demo there are hotheads. While personally I witnessed nobody damaging public property or one of the ubiquitous EU buildings, there's footage of at least one bunch trying to bust windows. But either way, all in all the crowd wasn't too unruly. Despite this, I could make out a police truck engaging demonstrators with its water cannon:

I got somewhat closer and could look out over a crowd confronting the cops in the Karel de Grote Avenue. For all the bruhaha of Close and Vervoort claiming that this would be a "Brown March", I failed to notice types with optics commonly associated with neonazis (skinheads, black leather jackets, combat boots, tattoos etc). The demonstrators seemed to be overwhelmingly men in their 20s, 30s and 40s in 'normal' attire.

Then Police suddenly fired tear gas slugs. It's the first time I witnessed such a thing firsthand. A cluster of some 6 or 7 real small projectiles landed at the incoming end of a faint arc not seven meters away from me...

... and suddenly my view of the Karel de Grote Avenue looked like this:

This event marks the first time in my life I've been 2-chlorobenzalmalononitriled. Some would say I was teargassed (info here, in case you're interested), and it AIN'T funny. After a couple of seconds I had to back away; the stinging in the eyes and the difficulty in breathing was too much. I crossed the Wetstraat, climbing over a couple of traffic barriers, until I could breathe more freely:

I now noticed that from the West, where the Wetstraat/Rue de la Loi leads to Parliament (the Belgian one, not the EU one ha ha), another part of the demo also backed away, pursued by police firing tear gas canisters:

An atmospheric shot with protestors taking a rather laid back attitude. The high rise in the background is the Karel de Grote/Charlemagne building:

But soon the gas concentration became too much to bear. It was obvious the cops were pushing us due east along the Wetstraat/Rue de la Loi, in the direction of the Cinquantenaire:

Back at the Schuman Square roundabout. All quiet on this front.

Looking north along the Archimedesstraat, I noticed a platoon of mounted police take up positions:

A closer look:

Looking West again. Police wasn't short on gas, apparently.

Soon enough, it became clear that they were cleaning up da neighborhood from those pesky, EVIL neonazis. Look for yourself, all those types could, if asked, start their working week tomorrow in Bergen Belsen and Auschwitz/Birkenau. Brrrr!

"They won't tame him, the Proud Flemish Lion". Notice the Vlaams Belang sweater. I actually saw very few pieces of garment identifying this or that person's affiliation. There were two Voorpost chaps I could identify as such, a few VB... Here and there, individuals had draped themselves entirely in the Flemish Lion. I myself was wearing a pink tutu. And a pussy hat.

Okay, I admit it. I made that last one up. It was too cold for that. By now the Schuman Square roundabout became rather gassy, too.

Personally, I am of the opinion that the Belgian Police bought their tear gas canisters on Black Friday. And people say that it's US the gas chamber guys!

Don't they realize all that tear gas may ALSO have a greenhouse effect??!? What Belgian Police fired today may very well raise the planet's temperature by 2 degrees! To-tal-ly irresponsible!!!

Archimedes Street was still calm. But it was obvious that soon, the cops would also charge in from that direction, squeezing us Brown Deplorables toothpaste tube-wise further and further east.

Suddenly I noticed Dries Van Langenhoven, Chairman ofSchild en Vrienden.

This really was the man's moment du jour. FINALLY, he came eye to eye with the famous Outlaw Mike! I do have to admit though, that he was dressed smarter than me, myself and I combined.

More shots of neonazis. The girl to the left must be the grand grand niece of Helga, She-Wolf of the SS.

It was time to wrap up my humble part in this demo. Today I learned that my small company's yearly 90,000 EUR Social Security contributions, 6,000 EUR 'bedrijfsvoorheffing', a plethora or real estate, corporate, environmental and whatev taxes I'm just too scared to add up, some 6,600 EUR private social security contributions, personal income tax (this year but a measly 2,000 EUR), 500 EUR municipal tax etcetc etc etc earned me being teargassed for expressing my opinion in a peaceful manner. Progress!!!

Together with some chaps from Limburg, I headed back thru Cinquantenaire Park and the monument, where I had parked the Outlaw Mobile. As we approached the Cinquantenaire, the welcoming committee was taking up position. Luckily (for them), not one had the guts to arrest me:

And that was that, Adventures in Belgistan!


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