Far-right 'NatCons' fundraiser officially cancelled by venue following protests

Far-right 'NatCons' fundraiser officially cancelled by venue following protests
Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, was a keynote speaker and linked to the organisers. Credit: EP Photo

Next week's far-right National Conservatism Conference – set to host the likes of Viktor Orbán, Nigel Farage and Eric Zemmour – has been cancelled by venue owner Edificio following public pressure.

On Friday afternoon, the company which owns the venue issued a press release announcing that "the event scheduled for 16 and 17 April at the Concert Noble has been cancelled."

The fundraising event was set to reunite in Brussels far-right politicians, journalists, academics, religious figures, members of the European nobility and shady think tankers. Guests were scheduled to give inflammatory speeches on topics such as migration, the European Union, climate change and LGBTQ+ rights.

Under pressure from the Belgian Anti-Fascist Coordination (CAB) and the Human Rights League (LDH), which criticised Edificio for holding such an event on its premises, the company has decided to cancel the far-right meeting.

According to a press release by organisers, the venue told them that the office of the Socialist Party (PS) Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close, had urged it to cancel the event.

Conference Chairman Yoram Hazony of the Edmund Burke Foundation reacted, stating: "the reputation of Brussels as the home for European democracy is at stake."

In the statement released on Friday afternoon, Concert Noble's owners stressed that it has always subscribed to and defended the fundamental values of democracy in Europe.

"Edificio has no intention of taking any position other than that of respecting the key European values of democracy which have enabled Belgium and the European Union, of which Brussels is the capital, to enjoy a long period of peace and prosperity since the Second World War."

On Friday evening, the Belgian Anti-Fascist Coordination (CAB) welcomed the decision taken by Edificio. However, there are some reports that organisers are now looking for a new venue in Brussels to hold the far-right fundraiser.

"We applaud Edificio's decision to cancel the conference, which proves that resistance is possible," Camille, an activist at CAB, told The Brussels Times. "Freedom of speech never justifies hate speech. Now we remain cautious, as NatCon hasn't cancelled the conference and is on the search for another venue."

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