Hundreds of demonstrators march for tolerance in Antwerp
Monday, 26 January 2015
Hundreds of demonstrators marched “against terror and hate, for tolerance and peace” in Antwerp on Sunday. Contrary to two marches planned for Monday, which were banned by the mayor Bart De Wever, this one was allowed to take place, though under considerable police surveillance. A demonstration by Pegida Vlaanderen against the Islamization of society was due to take place on Monday, along with a counter-demonstration by Hart boven Hard (the Flemish equivalent of civil movement “tout autre chose”). Neither of the two received a permit due to local police’s concerns.
Sunday’s event was an initiative by the “Antwerp for Palestine” group, in collaboration with other associations such as MovementX or Vredesactie.
“We have not just come to denounce the injustice in Palestine, but also what is happening in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, or Paris with Charlie Hebdo”, said the spokesman Sarah El Massoudi.
Several participants held banners calling for solidarity, while others held Palestinian flags. The demonstrators also criticized the deployment of soldiers in Antwerp.
No incidents were reported. “People present here and there along the route held out Israeli flags, but no one reacted”, said the spokesman.