4,000 people united on the Schuman square to protest against the extreme-right after the far-right party Vlaams Belang became the second biggest party in Flanders following the election on Sunday 26 May.
“We are taking to the streets for tolerance,” said Elene from Mechelen to Bruzz. “History is repeating itself. This was another black Sunday,” she said, alluding to the elections in 1991 in which Vlaams Belang (then still called Vlaams Blok) tripled its votes compared to the previous elections.
Among the demonstrators are many trade unionists, members of leftist organizations, the elderly, and young people from Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders, reported Bruzz. “Vlaams Belang wants a more socialist policy, but only for white people. Everyone saying they only voted for them for that policy could have just as easily voted for one of the leftwing parties,” said Yannick from Antwerp. “I think in the coming years they will understand what the extreme-right stands for. They will wake up,” he added.
There were also several politicians among the demonstrators, including Didier Gosuin (Défi). “We have always fought extremism, and now there are fascists in the parliaments,” said Gosuin to Bruzz. “It freaks me out. The road to an independent Flanders is now free,” he added.
“I am here for therapeutic reasons,” Lennert, a protestor from Brussels, said. “I still have to process the election results, I did not sleep well on Sunday night,” he added.
The Brussels Times