About 200 people took part in Saturday in a demonstration at Brussels North station against homophobic violence. The demonstration follows reports of a gay couple living in Schaerbeek who earlier in the week were the victims of a violent attack, allegedly by Turkish neighbours living downstairs. The couple claim the attack was motivated by homophobia.
“What happened to us on Monday evening has left a lasting mark on us,” Jeroen, one of the men told Belga. “But all of the displays of support we have received since then have been taken to heart.”
“We are here to say that homophobia has no place in Brussels,” said Graham Peele, organiser of the demonstration. “Barely two weeks ago Gay Pride took place in Brussels. We had hoped our message had been put across, but since then there have been three attacks on homosexuals. We are gathered here today to declare that discrimination and homophobia have no place in Brussels,” he said.
“The experience of Jeroen and his partner touched us deeply, but is sadly all too recognisable,” said Adelheid Byttebier, councillor for equality in Schaerbeek. “As a municipality we are trying to raise awareness, which we think is important and necessary for all victims of discrimination and all parts of our community.”