The Blok is dead.  Long live the Vlaams Belang?

The people of Flanders are, this evening, contemplating the decision of The Court of Cassation, the final court of appeal in Belgium.  In a case of historic proportions Flanders’ largest political party has been criminalised on charges of racism and, to all intents and purposes, politically assassinated.  It is the most legalistic of convictions obtained on the most specious of grounds.  But the means will be seen by the victors as justifying the end, and the end was to preserve the political status quo and, therefore, the existence of Belgium itself.

The stakes could not have been higher.

The case was brought by the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism – the thought police of the Belgian state, essentially.  This body, a privately-owned public prosecutors office, was armed with anti-racism legislation that makes even the mention of human differentiation a crime.  Their tax-paid lawyers have persecuted Vlaams Blok for years.  Any impartial observer would conclude that the crime here has been perpetrated in the other direction, upon the conservative Flemish.

In any case, the Blok will be reborn.  It draws its strength from the Flemish working man.  It will not capitulate under this or any other stress.  How it will operate, how it will be true to itself and to the Flemish people we must wait to see.  But Flanders will not be held back indefinitely from its independence.  The Establishment cannot be other than it is, and offers Flanders only the gift of oppression.  That, however, is the gift most likely to harden the Flemish resolve for freedom.

I had intended to post a history of the Blok’s conflict with the Thought Police.  That job has been done for me.  Here follows the statement issued this evening by the Blok’s leader, Frank Vanhecke MEP.

Today we were executed. But we will rise.

A message from Frank Vanhecke MEP, Vlaams Blok Party Leader

9 November 2004

Today, our party, the Vlaams Blok, has been condemned to death. This afternoon, the Belgian Supreme Court upheld the verdict, issued by the Court of Appeal in Ghent on 21 April, which declared the Vlaams Blok a criminal organisation. In order to preserve our party members from prosecution, we are now forced to disband. What happened in Brussels today is unique in the Western world: never has a so-called democratic regime outlawed the country’s largest political party.

The Vlaams Blok was supported by almost 1 million voters in last June’s elections. We got 24.1% of the vote in Flanders, where 60% of the Belgian population lives. Voting is compulsory in Belgium and no other party was supported by more people. Our party has grown continuously for two decades. Since 1987, it has won twelve consecutive elections in a row. Belgium, established in 1830 by French revolutionaries, is an artificial construct dominated by the Socialist Francophone minority in Wallonia. Our party’s main objective is the secession of Flanders from Belgium. Flanders is the free-market oriented Dutch-speaking and politically minoritised northern part of the country.
We are the democratic voice of an ever growing number of Flemings who, in an entirely non-violent way, want to put an end to Belgium. Our electoral strength is causing panic amongst the Belgian establishment. A recent opinion poll of the Brussels newspaper
Le Soir and the Francophone state television RTBF (24 October) indicates that the Vlaams Blok currently stands at 26.9% of the Flemish vote.

Despite the fact that a political party should be fought in the voting booth, the Belgian regime has been harassing the Vlaams Blok with criminal prosecutions for over a decade. The Belgian Parliament, where Francophones are overrepresented, changed the Constitution in 1999 in order to limit freedom of expression. It also voted a series of new laws with the sole purpose of criminalising and defunding our party, including an Anti-Racism Act and an Anti-Discrimination Act which define “discrimination” so broadly that every individual can be prosecuted on the basis of them. (The text of these infamous bills can be found on our null).

Moreover, according to Belgium’s draconian new laws, every member and collaborator of an organisation that propagates “discrimination,” can be punished with fines or imprisonment. Furthermore, the onus of proof has been reversed, so that the complainant does not need to prove that the accused “discriminates” or propagates “discrimination,” but the latter has to prove that he does not.

Since 1993 the power to prosecute for discrimination and racism was transferred to a government quango, resorting directly under the Prime Minister, the so-called Centre for Equal Opportunities and the Fight against Racism(CEOFR). This quango has now been vindicated by the Supreme Court, an institution composed of political appointees, half of them Francophones.

Have we ever condoned discrimination on the basis of race? No, but that did not matter to the Belgian establishment and its political courts. We were condemned on the basis of a selection of excerpts from texts provided by the CEOFR. These excerpts were taken from an anthology of no more than 16 texts published by local Vlaams Blok chapters between 1996 and 2000. According to the court what we wrote was not necessarily untrue, but our “intentions” were of a criminal nature. The Ghent ruling, today reaffirmed by the Supreme Court, stated that our texts (though some were mere quotes of official statistics on crime rates and social welfare expenditure and another was an article written by a female Turkish-born Vlaams Blok member about the position of women in fundamentalist muslim societies) were published with “an intention to contribute to a campaign of hatred.” Such a procès d’intention (a conviction based on speculation about our supposed motives) is a real disgrace, and the fact that the Belgian judiciary had to resort to this proves that no other reasons for convicting us could be found. We have never propagated, advocated or practised any discrimination. Never.

The consequences of the conviction are, however, serious. According to the law, every member of our party or everyone who has ever cooperated with it, even if he has not committed any crimes himself, becomes a criminal by the mere fact of his membership of or his cooperation with our party. The Ghent verdict literally stated: “Rendering punishable every person who belongs to or cooperates with a group or society [...] serves as an efficient means to suppress such groups or societies, as the lawmaker intended. Rendering punishable the members or collaborators of the group or society inherently jeopardizes the continued existence or functioning of the group or society [...].

Indeed, the reaffirmation of the Ghent verdict by the Supreme Court forces us to disband our party in order not to endanger its members and collaborators. Therefore, a party congress next Sunday will convene to officially disband the party. We will, however, put to the congress the establishment of a new party to defend the political priorities that the Vlaams Blok has always fought for: an independent and democratic Republic of Flanders; the traditional moral values of Western civilisation; and the right of the Flemings to protect their national identity and their Dutch language and culture.

I thank those who founded our party in 1977 and all who have supported it in the past 27 years. They have fought the good fight. I thank our one million voters. They deserve a democracy. Belgium does not want to grant them one; we will. Today, our party has been killed, not by the electorate but by the judges. We will establish a new party. This one Belgium will not be able to bury; it will bury Belgium.

Frank Vanhecke, MEP
Vlaams Blok Party Leader

Posted by Johan Van Vlaams on Tuesday, November 9, 2004 at 02:45 PM in European Nationalism
Comments (12) | Tell a friend

Comments:

1

Posted by Cathal Copeland on November 09, 2004, 04:10 PM | #

The European Union now has 24 democratic Member States and one formerly democratic one.

So long Belgium, your days are truly numbered.

If I were a Walloon, I would hang my head in shame; if I were a Fleming, I would prepare for battle.

2

Posted by Tanguy Veys on November 09, 2004, 04:22 PM | #

Democracy needs a party like Vlaams Blok.  In a country where there is no place for such a party, there is no democracy.

3

Posted by Phil on November 09, 2004, 04:50 PM | #

Nothing to be somber about. In fact, if anything, events like this demonstrate the level of desperation the European elites have now reached. They sense trouble building inside the kettle. The water is beginning to show signs of coming to a boil. The lid must be kept shut at all costs.

Not too far away the Danes have been moving rightwards and the Dutch have been forced to wake up. The Belgians can dig their brains in the sand only for so long.

If anything, Political Correctness in Europe is showing some remarkable similarities to Communism in the 1980s.

4

Posted by Vomit on November 09, 2004, 05:27 PM | #

The test of democracy is freedom of criticism.  ~David Ben-Gurion

The Belgian state has resorted to its very last non-violent weapon to suppress the grassroots independence movement taking possession of its Flemish cash-cow.

Let them enjoy their Pyrrhic victory for as long as it lasts.

5

Posted by Geo on November 09, 2004, 10:23 PM | #

There is a force nullifying Democratic movements and outcomes throughout the western world. Though the circumstances vary any movement which seeks to assert a nation’s “volksgeist” is targeted for destruction by the combined efforts of judicial, executive, media, and legislative campaigns.

Though I oppose this tyranny I see no effective opposition. I won’t even post my real name for fear of losing my job.

“So this is how the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper”. T.S Eliot

6

Posted by Fred Scrooby on November 10, 2004, 12:51 AM | #

The decision handed down today was a defeat for justice and morality.  The Vlaams Blok certainly has nothing whatsoever to be ashamed of.  It is rather the socialists and internationalists who have perverted the Belgian judicial system and twisted the meaning of Belgian laws in order to get the result they wanted, who have everything to be ashamed of.

The Blok may be dead but what it stood for certainly isn’t—and never will be, so long as one single Fleming remains alive, because what it stood for was life for Flanders, nothing more, and nothing less than that:  it stood for the survival of the Flemish nation.  That which the Vlaams Blok stood for could not be killed today but Belgium was killed.  Belgium will not survive this, and my heart aches because I love that country, that great, good, brave little kingdom.  It’s the left who’ve killed it, as they kill everything else that is great, good, and brave.

Here is advice Lawrence Auster has given to traditional conservatives in our country (the U.S.) to strengthen them when all seems hopeless.  It wasn’t written with Flemish patriots in mind, of course.  But its words may be able to strengthen them too, especially at this heartbreaking time of their temporary defeat:   
   
“[...T]he most important course of action for traditionalist conservatives at the present moment (given the seemingly unstoppable power of the dominant culture, it may be the only available course of action) [...] is, knowing the truth, refusing to yield to the lies that surround us, refusing to yield to the prevailing mentality of our society, no matter how victorious it may seem.  Everybody today, particularly Republicans and mainstream conservatives, is echoing the same refrain:  ‘Diversity is happening, immigration is happening, moral liberation is happening. We cannot return to the past.  To exist and get along in this society we must accept these things.’  Traditionalists must entirely reject such accommodationism.  The starting point, the indispensable condition of any conservative or traditionalist movement, as well as of our personal spiritual survival, is that we say NO to the prevailing values of the liberal order and that we keep saying no, that we never accept them inwardly, even while recognizing the fact that they exercise effective control over society at present and that we may need to accommodate ourselves to them to a certain degree in our external interactions with society.  That inward refusal, that inward, spiritual independence of our environment, shared among enough like-minded people, can become the basis of a new community.  And then other things, more active and external things, may become possible as well.”
____________

Does any of the commenters know the address to which Americans can send contributions of money for the new group or party which the Flemish patriots are going to found?

7

Posted by Braveheart on November 10, 2004, 08:47 AM | #

Flanders in Belgium – Vlaams Blok ban - brief press-review.

Vlaams Blok ban is frontpage news in all Flemish newspapers: Belang van Limburg, de Standaard, Gazet van Antwerpen,  Het Laatste Nieuws, …. 

I picked up one dazzling comment from major columnist Luc Van der Kelen .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
from het Laatste Nieuws, who is normally not friendly for Vlaams Blok. It is important enough because it was aired on the radio this morning. I quote (translated out of Dutch):
…nevertheless, it remains a fact that politicians should not drag their antagonists in court, but must challenge them with arguments in face of the electorate. All that is said concerning the separation of the judicial and the executive/legislative branches is pure hypocrisy: the politicians have provided the judiciary with the means

AND the inspiration

to charge Vlaams Blok. For the rest it only mattered to find a judge who was willing to tackle the question.

The leftist daily “de Morgen” (the Morning), outspoken hostile to Vlaams Blok, gives a reaction from political scientist Johan Ackaert from LUC (Limburg university), who expects a political breach in the dike with the next elections in 2006, see at:  http://www.demorgen.be/telex/?news=own1100023877 By this you see that I am not the only one who thinks that “the hope of the hopeless” and “the power of the powerless”, such as Vlaams Blok call themselves, will live on.

Walloon socialist party leader Elio Di Rupo wants yet another new legislation (the law has already been changed so much times to ban Vlaams Blok, that I have lost the count), but of course Elio thinks about the financial transfers from Flanders to Wallonia, meanwhile 12 billion Eurodollar each year, useless and unfair. Does he fear Flemish independence? See at: http://www.hln.be/hln/cch/det/art_27839.html Btw, some time ago in the newspapers was written that “prudent family man Vlaams Blok” has build up an enormous “war cash”. But I want to see this in perspective. To make a living,  one needs a regular income. A pile of money, how big it might be, only gives temporary relief. In Belgium the political parties are state financed. Private donations are limited to 125 Eurodollar per year. And that’s what Walloon socialist Di Rupo wants to snatch away from Vlaams Blok. Now that they see that a new party will be founded and that the political murder might be thwarted, they apparently intend to starve out Vlaams Blok or its successor. Meanwhile this next Blok buster law has already been voted in one of the two Belgian parliament chambers…

Will be continued.

8

Posted by http://lvb.net/item/658 on November 10, 2004, 10:29 AM | #

De veroordeling van het Vlaams Blok wegens racisme werd gisteren bevestigd door het Hof van Cassatie. De binnenlandse media staan uiteraard bol van de artikels, analyses en beschouwingen over dit a…

9

Posted by Fred Scrooby on November 10, 2004, 10:58 AM | #

Columnist Luc Van der Kelen’s point about today’s trend toward rule by judiciary rather than by legislature is an extremely important one: 

”…nevertheless, it remains a fact that politicians should not drag their antagonists into court, but must challenge them, with arguments, before the electorate.  All that is said concerning the separation of the judicial and the executive/legislative branches is pure hypocrisy [...]”

We suffer under exactly the same outrage here in the States:  the judicial usurpation of legislative power.  Left-liberal judges here in the States have been, in effect, making law, levying taxes, and changing governmental policy in ways never intended by those who originally structured our society and decreed strict limitations on the powers of each branch of government.

I wonder, could Braveheart post future discussions of published Flemish and Walloon reactions to yesterday’s ruling (including pundit comments which cite the outrage of judicial usurpation of powers) as a new log entry rather than as a reader’s comment in this thread?  The reaction to the Vlaams Blok banning is an extremely important topic for our time (which is or should be of great interest to all countries in the Western World).

10

Posted by Alejandro Robledo on November 11, 2004, 08:57 PM | #

Strange! I was on the thinking that Latin-America was one of the last parts of the world with democracy issues still to be solved; even when I have visited Flanders for several times during the last years and enjoyed their culture it is hard for me to understand why a party is prohibited by the law, however it is up to both the Flemish and Belgian goverments, but it is not exactly what I expected to happen after Europe is fully migrating to democracy. People should always be able to speak and show their perception regarding anything and in the right way, when the politics options become blocked then ways become a lot more hard to go by.

Wiht all of my respects for both Flanders and Wallonia.Regards.

11

Posted by Braveheart on November 12, 2004, 04:03 AM | #

Sometimes in history, the political hunger for power and money is so great, that slowly but surely and through the years, fundamental rights have to give in. Each time by changing the law again and again to obtain certain goals, a new small step is set.  But it’s only at the end of the ride, that the full extent of the disaster becomes clear.

But my biggest disappointment here is that those who had to prevent it, I mean the Council of Europe, just have helped to legitimise the move. Apparently the French-speakers had better diplomatic connections to sell their lies. See at:

And after such, the Continent pleads not to understand why the British are suspicious about Europe? Even about the introduction of the Euro, although this healthy monetary instrument is just what the City needs and has nothing to do with the process of decay.

12

Posted by A Leftist on November 15, 2004, 04:37 PM | #

I was shocked to see any political party criminalized by a government. But it’s happening here in the U.S. The Republican party is lending its own air of Nazism to our political - and personal - atmosphere. The calvary did not ride in and save, but instead killed. They were not the good guys.
I wonder when our own witch hunts will begin again.
God protect us from your followers and the Fred Scroobys of the world!

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