Ghent, the night of 6 on 7 October: Splintered glass, dripping paint. The justice palace is damaged by vandals. Ten thousand euros worth of damage according to the court. What inspired the burst of fury against one of the pillars of democracy? Destructive flames are licking the plastic garbage bins all over the centre of Ghent. Money spitting ATMs, there for the comfort of the permanent consumer, are affected by the fire. Firemen and police are running everywhere at once. Chaos and sirens on all sides.
Regional television also reports that a few rightwing students are treated with a dose of physical demoralising critique (the president of the fascist student organisation NSV receives a few well directed punches). On the St-Pieterssquare, the KVHV [catholic rightwing student organisation] organises a debate on Islam in Europe. A clique of persistent rightwing “democrats”, among others Dewinter, Dedecker etc [rightwing politicians], countered by the Islamists of AEL [Arab-European League]. A few blocks away, in a university in the Voskes avenue, the NSV (the unofficial student club on the Vlaams Belang, fascist party), celebrates the beginning of the academic year. Last year, the NSV organised a debate with Filip Dewinter as speaker. The university building where this debate would have taken place was occupied by antifascists. An attack of the fascists, led by Führer Filip was countered. The obstruction of this alleged right of free speech for fascists was not to be repeated.
So, this year, an impressive police force was deployed to let the promoters of the Vlaamsche democracy do their thing without being bothered. Since a gathering on the place and time set by them would only fall flat against a blue wall, this year, the reaction took different forms. The parties didn’t go unnoticed; Ghent was startled by a spontaneous and wayward eruption of chaos.
The political advance of extreme right in Flanders is not a coincidence. The fact that fascist organisations such as the NSV and the NSA [National Socialist Action] get a free game and are zealously protected by the police forces has deep implications.
The extreme right tosses up all sorts of “problems” that have no factual base. All over the world, the rupture line between a small, superrich elite and the masses that fight daily to survive is becoming deeper every day. Everywhere, the protectors of this elite are more and more elaborated and better equipped. Hence the colourful variants of the cops who dirty our streets (grey, purple, black,…uniforms, each of them with their specialisation). Their working method ranges from a velvet ‘social’ way to hard repression.
The discourse of the extreme right; presenting Islam as a threat for the “lightened” western world, presenting people on the run for a miserable existence as parasites, not-working as scroungers,…is meant to deviate the attention from the daily war that repeats itself between the rich and the poor.
This story is brought to us by the media who act as mouth-piece of the ruling elite and continue to distract us with “tittytainment” on television and the internet, the cult of health and such. Flanders public opinion seems to have appropriated this discourse. At the bar as well, racism is never far away. The “others” are the enemy, not the puppeteers who manipulate this theatre.
Justice and the government are of course not very pleased with expressions of resistance as were demonstrated that night. For a public opinion dominated by rightwing actors, somebody has to pay. That night, one person was arrested and accused of several arsons. Two weeks later, another person was arrested on similar charges.v