nothing much happened. Well, during a couple of clean sweaps tens of people were arrested at a time. Some skinheads among them, but mostly ordinary citizens. Those images are already going around.Click the image to see the large version. Notice the fracas in the middle and the press standing three layers thick around it.
I observed two tele-lens photographers from nearby buildings. Tens of squad cars, intimidating helicopter, barbed wire fences everywhere. My oh my, we must be dangerous people.
Brussels Journal and others have already hinted at the 'special make up' of police forces guarding the safety of ordinary citizens during the demo. Our KV agent also noticed
that the police were all francophone. That may explain the heavy handed treatment of the Vlaams Belang people.Asking direction to the Anders Graven press conference, scheduled for 16:30, our agent was blown off by the officers with a haughty
We don't speak Dutch, we are from Liege.Incidentally, Freddy the mayor all of a sudden held an "emergency press conference" at... 16:30, ensuring that the international press would not attend the press conference given by Anders Graven. Cunning!
Our intrepid agent also had dealings with the EU press. That these were not exactly ideology-neutral in trying to get the story was clear almost immediately.
Another Dutchman and I talked to a German journalist (the pigletty type, mid-twenties, tongue-piercing) with whom we chatted some and had dinner with.Even the Dutch media were present, trying to get their particular color of the story
"It's hard to judge for me who is right here", she said. Errmh, that is not for you to judge, is it? But it quickly became clear she viewed all demonstrators as 'extreme right'. We proceeded to calmly explain to her that the nazis were actually from the left and that being right does not automatically mean being nationalistic. She was kind of taken aback by being drawn out of her safe little 'reality'.
I saw this clown from NOS Radio (with red(!) spectacles) that was asking extremely prejudiced questions and demanding answers from two not-too-eloquent demonstrators. 'Well' prepared with all kinds of counter-arguments but without any journalistic interest in the real reasons for the demo, or what islamisation means.Even though our agent managed to not get arrested, he saw first hand that reasons for 'administrative detention' were varied and sometimes unexpectedly brilliant. Who'd ever thought that in this day and age someone could be seriously arrested for unfurling an EU member state flag in another EU member state? But that is what happend to this guy. Says our agent:
"But don't you think this type of demonstration will only radicalize muslims even further?"
"Why did you chose this date of all dates?"
"What? You are saying this demonstation is not 'against islam'? Well then, if I were you I'd have a word with the Danish representaive..." etc., etc.
Evidently the goal was an item that was as malignant as possible. It was disgusting.
"Last man standing. This dude raises the Czech flag and the media just storms him. Of course he was picked up by the police for that, even if it was quite a bit later."As an aside our agent reports that from the building on the left, with the yellow tinted windows, the crowd was photographed and videotaped.
And just to illustrate how paranoid the Liege police actually is when deployed away from their home city, I'll leave you with this picture: A gaggle of demonstrators, a shedload of press of all sorts, being watched by a Belgian 'shower car'. If it weren't all that serious, this would make for a delightful Keystone Cops moment. But it is serious. In fact, the treatment meeted out by the Belgian police to the arrested demonstrators may have caused a fatality (NL). Several reports tell the tale of a demonstrator suffering a heart condition. The man was left lying on the bathroom floor by the police officers, who didn't know what to do with him. After about 15-30 minutes an ambulance was called and an attempt at rescussitation was made. But several witnesses to this little episode have severe doubts the man was still alive when he was whisked away by the emergency services.