While watching the news I noticed a disturbing event. An organisation intended to hold a protest action today. The theme of the protest: the growing influence of the islam in Europe. In fear of fightings, Freddy Thielemans, the mayor of Brussels – the planned venue of the action – denied them the right to demonstrate.
As expected, a few hundred people did show up today. Despite them holding a peaceful protest, police forces removed all protesters hardhandedly.
I do not understand why they weren’t allowed to hold the demonstration in the first place. This wasn’t some racist demonstration, it weren’t purely far-right people. And when they really are holding a peaceful demonstration, is it really necessary to remove them manu militari? It’s pretty sad if this is what’s left of free speech: you can say what you want, but only if you’re part of the right group.
Or (theory mode now) this could just as well be a political move by the mayor who is a member of the french socialist party in Belgium as the theme of the protest would target the religion of a great share of their voters. I’m just guessing here, so don’t kill me if I’m wrong
Regardless of what his reasons are/were, I feel they should’ve allowed the demonstration. The message did not go against any law which means they just wanted to use their right of free speech. And for the record, I would say the same about any demonstration as long as everyone keeps it peaceful.