Director of National Theatre criticises police action at Globe Aroma as form of “terrorism”

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 11:21
Jan Jambon, and the government, have significant work to do around welcoming more refugees to Belgium. Jan Jambon, and the government, have significant work to do around welcoming more refugees to Belgium. © Belga
On Tuesday, the director of the National Theatre, Fabrice Murgia, criticised angrily, on La Première (RTBF) the police action, together with having free rein to comment, in an article published in Le Soir.
The police action led on Friday to the arrest of undocumented individuals within the cultural association Globe Aroma. He mentions a police “raid”, on the cultural stage, which was perceived as a form of “terrorist act”.

He insisted on La Première, “When the government operates by putting fear into the public sector, a form of terrorism occurs.” He went on, “This is not how we will rectify the failure to integrate. It was not necessary for the police to raid the Globe Aroma (the migrant Arts Centre). What is necessary though is the creation of a second and third Globe.”

The director of the National theatre is calling for “civil disobedience”, following the citizen movement which accommodates undocumented individuals in the Maximilian Park. He is inviting local councillors to apply pressure in such a way that the local police will no longer collaborate in such action. The Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close, has requested a report by the police zone, Bruxelles-Ixelles, which participated in the action on Friday.

He considered, “The visits to people’s homes have raised issues around the rule of law and democracy which is currently going a little pear-shaped. There is no mistaking the signals, when a Masonic Lodge comes out of the woods, when a journalist is interrupted and when artists are also interrupted.”

Also broadcast on La Première, the Belgian Catholic Church joined with the Freemasons in criticising the federal government’s migration policy. The Bishop of Liège, Jean-Pierre Delville, referred to the episcopacy’s view over the question of refugees. He condemned Friday’s police action, also criticising the government bill around visits to migrant homes. 

He said, “It shocked me, as we have already genuinely reached the limits of what our Constitution allows. We do not agree with the action...The bishops are not making statements about the bill. There is a statement around the implementation of a bill. There is also a certain degree of separation between Church and State, but we should be offering alternatives.”

The Church of Belgium has just published a handbook entitled Refugees: how should we better accommodate them? upon the subject. The Vicariate of Brussels City Council has spearheaded the production of the document. Jean-Pierre Delville said, “I am ashamed because we have still not been sufficiently welcoming refugees, compared to the south of Belgium.” He considered that government policy in this regard “is so far of itself proving insufficient to produce results in this sphere.”

Lars Andersen
The Brussels Times
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