Brussels residents asked to fly Belgian flags against Vlaams Belang protest
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Brussels residents asked to fly Belgian flags against Vlaams Belang protest

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The youth sections of the seven political parties currently negotiating a federal coalition are calling on the people of Brussels to hang out a Belgian flag on the day the Flemish far-right Vlaams Belang party is planning a ride-in protest.

“We call on every inhabitant of Brussels to display the Belgian tricolour as a symbol against racism and the separatism of Vlaams Belang,” Timon Hogenaar, co-chair of the youth section of the Flemish greens, told The Brussels Times.

Vlaams Belang is calling on its supporters to drive into Brussels on Sunday 27 September for a “not my government” protest, and form a “united Flemish front.”

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While the party presidents of the socialists (sp.a and PS), liberals (Open VLD and MR), greens (Groen and Ecolo) and Christian democrats (CD&V) are negotiating the government coalition that Vlaams Belang is protesting against, the parties’ youth departments united to respond to what they call the “invasion of hatred” of the car parade.

The event was organised by all the Vivaldi parties, but people who are not a member of a political party are also invited to join, according to Hogenaar. “It will be a warm signal of connection, diversity and acceptance, in contrast to the divisive one from Vlaams Belang,” he said.

“It is not the intention to come together in person, as the Covid-19 risk is still far too great. It would be a great signal if Brussels would be full of Belgian flags when Vlaams Belang arrives,” he said.

Vlaams Belang’s protest wants to denounce the absence of a Flemish majority in a new federal coalition government, despite the party, along with the Flemish nationalist N-VA, coming out as the biggest winners of last year’s federal election.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times