ADF helps nationalists defeat shutdown order of socialist mayor

ADF helps nationalists defeat shutdown order of socialist mayor

ADF helps nationalists defeat shutdown order of socialist mayor

A liberty-defending legal group was forced to take action in Belgium when the city’s socialist mayor ordered police to shut down a “right-wing” event.

Brussels, the country’s historic capital city, was the site of a two-day National Conservatism Conference last week that featured well-known speakers including Brexit leader Nigel Farage; former French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour; former U.K. Home Secretary Suella Braverman; and Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister.

A video, posted to X by the conference, shows Zemmour attempting to walk into the venue but being blocked by police officers.

Not soon after the event began on April 16, police officers swarmed the entrance and blocked entry of participants and attendees, and even food, on orders from socialist Mayor Emir Kir. The order from Mayor Kir complained the conference’s vision is “not only ethically conservative (e.g. hostility to the legalisation of abortion, same-sex unions, etc.) but also focused on the defense of ‘national sovereignty’, which implies, amongst other things, a ‘Eurosceptic’ attitude…”

The event’s speakers were, in fact, a who’s who of patriotic, nationalistic leaders who have been called Nazi-like fascists by their Socialist counterparts. Zemmour, the French politician, was fined in 2022 for calling illegal migrants thieves, killers, and rapists. 

Paul Sapper, a spokesman for Alliance Defending Freedom International, tells AFN the mayor’s blockade appeared to be succeeding before ADF attorneys sprang into action to fight it.  

"It had escalated to an international diplomatic incident: the fact that conservatives were being denied human rights. They were being denied free speech,” Sapper says of the blockaded venue.

Alexander De Croo, Belgium’s prime minister, denounced the Mayor’s order on X. “Banning political meetings is unconstitutional. Full stop,” he stated.

ADF International challenged Mayor Kir’s order in a Belgian court that said Article 26 in Belgium’s constitution grants the right to assemble peacefully. Rather than the event disrupting peace and order, the court order states, “the threat to public order seems to be derived purely from the reactions that its organization might provoke among opponents.”

“The point here is these aren't strange or extreme people. They are mainstream people,” Sapper tells AFN. “Of course, a lot of them are on the right, but just because they have a view which people might disagree with it, that's not a justification for shutting them down."